Crew members of the Southwest Airlines flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia when its engine exploded on April 17, killing a passenger, met Tuesday with President Trump at the White House.
At the event, the president thanked the crew members.
“You were a little bit nervous up there?” Trump asked several of the flight attendants.
“Not at all,” one replied, as another said they did what they needed to do.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2018
“You knew who was piloting the plane, so you had no problem,” Trump told them, referring to Tammie Jo Shults, a former fighter pilot with the Navy who was flying the Southwest plane, Flight 1380, with 144 passengers.
“That’s a fantastic job,” Trump told the flight attendants. “They said you were calm and strong and cool. Thank you very much.”
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Trump said Shults, who was standing next to him, “did an incredible job.” He also expressed sympathy for Jennifer Riordan, the passenger who died after she was partially sucked out of a window that had broken before passengers pulled her back inside. Riordan was a mother and bank vice president of community relations from New Mexico.
“I’ve seen so much about Jennifer,” Trump said. “She must have been a fantastic woman, really a fantastic woman.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 1, 2018
The airline said the White House had extended Tuesday’s invitation.
Shults, hailed for her calm and focused demeanor during the emergency, and co-pilot Darren Ellisor have largely stayed out of the spotlight since the incident. In a statement released by Southwest on April 18, Shults and Ellisor said “our hearts are heavy” and that they felt “we were simply doing our jobs.”
Please see below a statement from the Captain and First Officer of Flight 1380. pic.twitter.com/RjoCpucGGS
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) April 19, 2018
The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating what caused the window next to Riordan to break and what caused the metal fatigue in the area where a fan blade broke off from one of the plane’s engines.
The plane was traveling from New York to Dallas. Southwest sent each passenger a $5,000 check and $1,000 flight voucher. One of the passengers has also sued Southwest, saying she has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.