Several North Texas residents were relieved to finally be home Tuesday night after their original flight suffered an engine failure and had to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Two flights with passengers from Philadelphia finally made it home to Dallas shortly before 10 p.m. Their family members anxiously awaited their arrival through the gates at Dallas Love Field.
Sharon Pelzel had an emotional reunion with her son, Jason, as he stepped off the plane and finally arrived home.
Jason was texting his mother right about the time that the plane was starting to land. The text message said, “I'm on flight 1380. We're making an emergency landing. I love you.”
“It is a miracle that the crew made this happen today. We're so thankful,” Sharon said.
"We heard a big bang,” recalled Cherub Ruth. “Like some sort of explosive sound."
"There was a loud boom,” said passenger Sheri Sears. “The oxygen masks came down, and we just put our oxygen masks on."
Tim McGinty was another passenger on board Flight 1380. He says he helped the injured woman who later died.
“The engine went out and had a lady go out the window, and we couldn’t pull her in,” McGinty recalled. “A guy helped. We got her pulled in. They tried to resuscitate her. Anyway, the crew and the pilot, they got it landed somehow.”
Passengers performed CPR but Riordan later died of her injuries. Seven others had minor injuries.
Tammie Jo Shults is a former f-18 Navy pilot and one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. military. She brought the plane down more than 20,000 feet in five minutes.
"It didn't feel like it was like free falling, but it was definitely not… it was an immediate realization that something was wrong and something was like not going to be right,” said passenger Anna Montie.
But Captain Shults was then able to stabilize the cabin pressure and make an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport.
Passengers said it was terrifying as they were descending into the emergency landing situation. Many of them thought they were going to die. Still, they gave the captain got a round of applause after safely landing the aircraft. One passenger said she has "nerves of steel."