Some would describe violent shaking inside the cabin and a desperate attempt to help one woman who had been violently pulled through the shattered window. The Air Force would not accept her, she told the publication, but the Navy would.
Shults's heroic emergency landing along with other details and stories about passengers - including Jennifer Riordan, 43, a banking executive and mother of two from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who was killed - came to light Wednesday as federal investigators and airline officials dealt with the aftermath of the first fatal accident involving a US airliner in eight years.
National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said it was the first passenger fatality in an accident involving a US airline since 2009. Seven other passengers were slightly injured.
The controller responded, "I'm sorry, you said there was a hole and somebody went out?"
Shults was among the first female fighter pilots in the USA military, according to friends and former classmates. She earned degrees in biology and agribusiness from the university in Olathe, Kansas, and graduated in 1983, a university spokeswoman told The Kansas City Star. When she retired in 1993, she was a Navy lieutenant commander. I grew up under it, ' she said in the book, written by Linda Maloney.
Shults' brother-in-law, Gary Shults, said her husband also is a Southwest pilot and told him she made the emergency landing. "I was too blase over the job done by the Captain and her crewmates". I'm going to send her a Christmas card - I'm going to tell you that - with a gift certificate for getting me on the ground.
A committed Christian, who reportedly teaches Sunday school, her husband Dean is a fellow Southwest pilot and the couple live in the San Antonio area of Texas. "Another wrote, "(She) came back to speak to each of us personally.
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"This is a true American Hero", passenger Diana McBride Self wrote on Facebook. "A huge thank you for advice her knowledge and bravery at a situation".
The twin-engine Boeing 737 had left NY when shrapnel pierced the passenger compartment causing the plane to lose pressure and rapidly drop. The priority with an explosive pressurization event is for the crew to don their oxygen masks and then rapidly bring the airplane down to an initial habitable breathing altitude of 10,000 feet, using flight control devices on top of the wings called speed brakes, which are created to reduce lift.
Despite the outpouring of attention, especially all the praise for Shults, the flight 1380 crew also noted that they would not be doing any media interviews at this time.
"Injured passengers, okay, and is your airplane physically on fire?" asks a male voice in the tower, according to a recording released by officials.
Shults has now joined a club no pilot wants to be a part of, along side Sully Sullenberger, who landed safely in the Hudson after losing both engines in 2009. "They said there's a hole and that someone went out", Ms Shults said.
Image copyright United Way of Central New Mexico Image caption Jennifer Riordan, who was killed, was a mother-of-two and bank vice-president What have investigators said?
"Preliminary findings of the NTSB show that the no.13 fan blade of engine no.1 was missing", says William Reid.
A piece was discovered about 60 miles (97km) northwest of Philadelphia on Tuesday, according to Mr Sumwalt.