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First Joint Interview With Crew Of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380


WE LANDED. WE’RE SAFE. SHE’S A VETERAN OF 32 YEARS. SHE HAS NERVES OF STEEL. THAT LADY, I APPLAUD HER. I’M GOING TO SEND HER A CHRISTMAS CARD, I’M GOING TO TELL YOU THAT AND A GIFT CARD. SHE WAS AWESOME, FOR GETTING US ON THE GROUND. THE CREW WAS AWESOME. THAT’S RIGHT. THE CREW AND THAT LADY ARE HERE. PASSENGERS PRAISING THE CREW AFTER THE TERRIFYING YOUR DEAL AND TERRIFYING IS THE WORD. WELCOME BACK TO “CBS THIS MORNING.” ABOUT TO MINUTES AFTER THE PLANE TOOK OFF FROM LaGUARDIA’S AIRPORT ON APRIL 17th, ONE OF THE ENGINES EXPLODED. DEBRIS SHOT THROUGH THE AIR SMASHING A WINDOW. ONE PASSENGER WAS PARTIALLY SUCKED OUT OF THE WINDOW AND LATER DIED. IT WAS THE FIRST PASSENGER DEATH DUE TO AN ACCIDENT ON A U.S. AIRLINE SINCE 2009. SO WITH JUST ONE ENGINE STILL WORKING THE PILOTS LANDED SAFELY. THE CREW MEMBERS SAID THEY CANNOT COMMENT ON THE ONGOING INVESTIGATION BUT THERE’S STILL A LOT TO TALK ABOUT WITH THEM. CAPTAIN TAMMIE JO SHULTS, FIRST OFFICER DARREN ELLISOR, AND THE REST ARE HERE FOR THEIR FIRST TELEVISION INTERVIEW. WELCOME. IT’S NICE TO MEET ALL OF YOU. TAMMIE JO AND DARREN, YOU GUYS WERE IN THE COCKPIT. WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THERE WAS AN EMERGENCY. I WAS FLYING AND WE WERE PASSING 32,000 FEET. NICE DAY. EVERYTHING WAS VERY NORMAL. AND THERE WAS A LOUD BANG. THE AIRPLANE YAWED TO THE LEFT LIKE THE SKID OF A CAR, ROLLED ABOUT 40 DEGREES TO THE LEFT AND STARTED TO DESCEND ON ITS OWN, SO I GRABBED CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE BECAUSE IT WAS ON AUTOPILOT AT THE TIME, WITH THE HORNS GOING OFF AND THE RABID DECOMPRESSION OF THE CABIN, IT ALL HAPPENING AT ONCE, THERE WAS NO QUESTION THAT SOMETHING BIG WAS GOING ON RIGHT THEN. RACHEL, DESCRIBE WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE CABIN. HOW DID YOU KEEP PASSENGERS CALM. I THINK WE HAD TO TAKE OURSELVES OUT OF THE EQUATION AND REALIZE IT WASN’T ABOUT US AT THIS MOMENT AND IT WAS ALL ABOUT OUR PASSENGERS. SO WE WENT ROBEY ROW MAKING SURE EVERYONE HAD THEIR OXYGEN MASKS ON AND WE GRABBED THEIR HANDS, LOOKED THEM IN THE EYES, YOU’RE GOING TO BE OKAY, WE’RE GOING TO MAKE IT. DID YOU REALLY THINK YOU WERE GOING TO BE OKAY? DID YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT? I KNOW AS A PASSENGER THE MAIN THING I DO IS LOOK AT THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT’S FACE TO SEE IF THEY LOOK DISTRESSED. THEY ALWAYS LOOK VERY CALM. DID YOU THINK EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE OKAY? YES, WE HAD CONFIDENCE KNOWING WE WERE ALL GOING TO MAKE IT. THAT WE HAVE FAITH AND BELIEF IN OUR PILOT AND WE WERE ALL GOING TO BE SAFELY ON THE GROUND AND WE JUST KEPT THAT CONFIDENCE THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH, LET THEM KNOW. TAMMIE JO, WHEN THIS HAPPENS, DO YOU SAY, I KNOW WHAT IT IS OR HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND THEN HOW TO CORRECT IT? YOU KNOW, INITIALLY — AND DARREN WAS FLYING — YOU TREAT THE SYMPTOMS. WE OBVIOUSLY HAD AN ENGINE SEIZURE AT LEAST AND WITH THE RAPID DEPRESSURIZATION IT WAS PRETTY OBVIOUS THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION AS WELL AS THE SOUND. SO WE TREATED THE SYMPTOMS, WHICH WAS LET THE AIRCRAFT FLY. IT WASN’T WANTED TO STAY ON ALTITUDE. WE DESCENTED LIKE IT WANTED TO. WE NEEDED OBVIOUSLY A PLACE TO LAND SOONER THAN DALLAS. DARREN IS ACTUALLY THE ONE WHO SAW HOW FAR AWAY PHILLY WAS AND WE AGREED IT HAD A LONG RUNWAY AND MEDICAL AND THINGS LIKE THAT. REALLY, YOU TREAT THE SYMPTOMS FIRST AND THEN YOU ANALYZE THE PROBLEM, SO THEN WE STARTED ANALYZING. OBVIOUSLY HAD AN ENGINE — THE NUMBER ONE ENGINE WAS OUT AND RABID DEPRESSURIZATION. AND AS WE WERE EVENTUALLY ABLE TO SPEAK WITH THE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS BECAUSE THE ONLY TIME THEY CAN COMMUNICATE WITH US IN THE COCKPIT IS WHEN THEY’RE EITHER IN THE VERY BACK OR VERY FRONT. SO THEY WAITED UNTIL — I BELIEVE THEY WAITED UNTIL THEY WENT THROUGH THE CABIN TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING WAS OKAY BEFORE THEY CALLED US AND THEN THEY CALLED US AND TOLD US WE HAD SOME INJURIES IN THE BACK AS WELL. THEN WE HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY AS WELL TO DEAL WITH. I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THAT IS CORRECT TAMMIE JO, BECAUSE JENNIFER REERIORDAN PASSED AWAY. I KNOW YOU ALL REACHED OUT TO HER FAMILY. TELL US ABOUT THAT? YOU KNOW, THE SURVIVAL NEVER ECLIPSES THE LOSS OF ONE. JUST A VIEW POINT LOOKING IN, SHE SEEMED LIKE A WOMAN WITH A PROFILE OF JUST BEING BEAUTIFUL AND IN HER PRIORITIES, SHE SEEMED LIKE SHE DIDN’T WAIT TILL IT WAS CONVENIENT OR EASY TO LOVE HER LORD AND HER FAMILY AND HER COMMUNITY AND THE WAY SHE INVESTED IN HER WORK. IT JUST SEEMS LIKE IT’S STILL BLESSING PEOPLE. I THINK SHE LEFT A BEAUTIFUL LEGACY. SHE REALLY DID. HER HUSBAND HAS TALKED. WE’VE SEEN THE FUNERAL AND THE CHILDREN. YOU’RE RIGHT. AS HAPPY AS IT IS THAT SO MANY SURVIVED, ALL OF US CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT JENNIFER RIORDAN. I’M FASCINATED BY THAT STORY. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE SIZE OF AN AIRPLANE WINDOW, I WOULDN’T THINK A HUMAN BEING COULD GET THROUGH THE WINDOW. RACHEL? I THINK IT’S AWESOME WE HAD PASSENGERS THAT COULD HELP. HOW IS IT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE SHE COULD GO OUT THAT WINDOW, TAMMIE JOE, DARREN? WE SAW A LOT OF THINGS THAT WERE JUST UNPRECEDENT, SOMETHING WE HAD NEVER SEEN IN OUR AVIATION CAREERS. THINGS YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO SEE AGAIN. YOU JUST DEAL WITH IT AT THE TIME. KATHRYN, YOU HAD ONLY BEEN WORKING FOR THEM FOR SIX WEEKS. YES. BUT I HAD EXPERIENCE WITH THE AIRLINES. IN ALL YOUR YEARS HAD YOU EVER EXPERIENCED ANYTHING LIKE THIS? NO, NO. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE CREW FLEW TOGETHER. YES. HOW DID YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO AND WORK SO WELL TOGETHER? I KNOW IT’S TRAINING. TAMMIE JO, YOU TOLD ME AN INTERESTING STORY ABOUT YOUR DISCUSSION BEFORE THIS FLIGHT TOOK OFF. WHEN WE MEET THE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, WHICH WAS FROM NASHVILLE TO LaGUARDIA, WE ALL MET IN THE GALLEY AND TALKED ABOUT THE WEATHER AND THE PROTOCOL OF SOUTHWEST IS TO HAVE A MORNING BRIEF. SO WE DID THAT. BUT I TEND TO GO A LITTLE DEEPER JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE DEEPER THAN THE WEATHER. SO WE SPOKE ABOUT SOME THINGS THAT WERE A LITTLE MORE INTERESTING THAN JUST THE WEATHER. YOU TOLD ME YOU ALL TALKED ABOUT YOUR PRAYER GROUPS. WELL, IN LaGUARDIA WHEN WE HAD A LITTLE EXTRA TIME WE WERE CHATTING AND RACHEL HAD GOTTEN A NEW BIBLE WITH ROOM TO JOURNAL AND SHE AND SEANIQUE AND KATHRYN SAID SHE WAS DOING A STUDY OF PSALMS AND DARREN WAS ALREADY IN THE COCKPIT DOING WORK. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT FAMILY AND FAITH, THE THINGS THAT MATTER TO YOU, EVEN IF THEY’RE DIFFERENT, IT TENDS TO BRING A BOND. WHEN TAMMIE JO SHARED WITH ME, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD NEVER MET EACH OTHER, YOU TALKED ABOUT IT. TELL ME ABOUT THE PASSENGERS AND THEIR REACTION IN HELPING JENNIFER RIORDAN, JUST REACTING TO THIS. THE PASSENGERS, I MEAN OUR PASSENGERS WERE AWESOME. THEIR SAFETY WAS THE FIRST PRY YORTD WITH US. THE WAY THAT WE ALL REMAINED CALM REFLECTED ON THE PASSENGERS. THEY SEEN THAT IN US BECAUSE THEY LOOK AND SEEN HOW WE’RE REACTS AND THE FACT THAT WE’RE ALL CALM, THAT’S WHAT KEPT THE PASSENGERS TOGETHER, WORKING TOGETHER. OUR PRIORITY WAS GOING TO EACH ONE OF THEM AND COMFORTING THEM. AS RACHEL SAID, WE’RE GOING LAND, WE’RE GOING TO BE OKAY. I KNOW THEY CALL YOU UNIQUE SE SEANIQUE. I’M CURIOUS. DID AT SOME POINT YOU FEEL AFRAID? I DID NOT FEEL AFRAID. THAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE RIGHT THERE. WHY WERE YOU NOT AFRAID? IT WAS THE PEACE GOD HAD GIVEN US. IT’S A PEACE THAT SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING. LIKE TAMMIE JO SAID, WE CAME TOGETHER BEFOREHAND AND WE ALL TALKED ABOUT GOD, AND NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN MINUTES LATER, GOD HAD ALREADY PREPARED US WITHOUT US EVEN KNOWING. I WANT PEOPLE TO REALLY GET AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW BAD THIS WAS BECAUSE YOU’RE SAYING IT’S REALLY LOUD IN THAT CAB ABOUT. GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE. THERE ARE VARYING DEGREES OF LOUD. HOW LOUD WAS IT AND HOW DID YOU COMMUNICATE WHEN IT’S THAT LOUD? YOU HAVE TO REALLY PAINT A PICTURE. FOR US, WE DIDN’T HAVE TO COMMUNICATE VERBALLY WITH EACH OTHER BECAUSE WE JUST HAD TRUST AND WE WERE ABLE TO DO WHAT WE NEEDED TO DO. BUT TO COMMUNICATE WITH OUR PASSENGERS, WE HAD TO HAVE A LOUD, STERN, BUT CARING VOICE. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY, RACHEL? I WOULD GRAB THEIR HANDS EVEN IF I HAD TO STRETCH OVER, I WOULD LIKE INTO SOME OF THEIR BLOODSHOT EYES AND SAY LOOK AT ME, WE OAR GOING TO BE OKAY, WE OAR GOING TO MAKE IT, WEER GOING TO PHILADELPHIA, AND WE’RE HERE TODAY. AND I THINK THAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. EVEN THOUGH OUR E.R.A.S HAD POPPING FROM THE DEE DEE COMPRESSION AND THERE WAS WIND

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