Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 suffered engine failure today on a flight from La Guardia to Dallas Love, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Passengers were terrified that they might be facing their last moments. Parts of the engine hit the plane’s windows, and passengers reported that one woman was almost sucked out of a window, but several passengers pulled her back in and saved her. You can listen to 30 minutes of audio between the Southwest Airlines pilot and flight control after the engine accident was discovered. The audio is below, courtesy of LiveATC.
Passengers have commented on how calm the pilot remained during the conversation, despite the emergency. This calm under pressure allowed the pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, to land the airplane safely. She was one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy.
A female passenger told CNN that the woman who was nearly sucked out of the plane wasn’t actually pulled out of the window, but her arms and her body “were … sucked in that direction, from my vantage point.” She said people from the back of the seat were holding on to her, keeping her contained.
NBC 10 reported that the jet plane violently depressurized after a piece of the engine broke a window. A federal investigator theorized that everything happened after an engine on the plane blew, and shrapnel hit the aircraft, WSVN reported. Passengers said they heard a loud noise and oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling. One passenger did a Facebook Live post during the flight while wearing an oxygen mask. Everyone was bracing for impact when the plane was landing, and burst into applause once the plane landed safely.
John Goglia, a former member of the NTSB, told WSVN that a ring around the engine is supposed to contain engine pieces when this happens, but that didn’t occur this time. “That’s going to be a big focal point for the NTSB,” he said.
Authorities from the NTSB confirmed that one passenger died, but did not identify who the passenger was. NTSB is investigating the cause of the accident. There were 143 passengers on the flight and five crew on board. Southwest has 700 planes, all 737s, including more than 500 like the plane today. The Boeing 737 had a good safety record, WSVN reported, and Southwest has a good safety record too.
This is a developing story.