Unsuspecting passengers were more than 30,000 feet in the air when a loud boom sparked panic on Southwest Flight 1380. The engine had exploded. Almost simultaneously, a window blew out and nearly sucked a woman out of the aircraft.
We’re just now getting harrowing accounts of the heroic efforts of two men on the flight who jumped into action to save the woman, identified as Jennifer Riordan.
Tim McGinty, who is quickly becoming known as the “hero in the cowboy hat,” tried to pull Riordan back into the plane — but the force was too strong. Half of the woman’s body was sucked outside of the window. He needed help.
A second man, Texas firefighter Andrew Needum, quickly jumped in to assist the cowboy and pulled her to safety. The two men then tried to resuscitate her.
Tragically, they weren’t able to save Riordan despite their heroic efforts. She eventually died from her injuries.
McGinty’s wife, Kristen, told USA Today that she was not surprised by her husband’s actions.
“My husband loves God and believes our purpose here is to love fiercely and to serve others,” she said. “Some heroes wear capes, but mine wears a cowboy hat.”
The plane ended up making a successful emergency landing in Philadelphia thanks to another hero on the flight, pilot Tammie Joe Shults.
Using her “nerves of steel,” Shults remained calm during the crisis and got the New York City to Dallas Southwest flight on the ground safely. She even greeted each passenger personally after they landed.
Listen to the emergency audio from the cockpit below:
“Tammie Jo Schults, the pilot came back to speak to each of us personally. This is a true American Hero. A huge thank you for her knowledge, guidance and bravery in a traumatic situation. God bless her and all the crew,” one passenger said of the pilot.
If this horrific incident tells us anything, it’s that there are heroes everywhere among us.
Featured image via FOX4/Screengrab