Chilling audio reveals pilot Tammie Jo Shults keeping remarkably calm after an engine exploded during a Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday.
Ms Shults contacted air traffic controllers to prepare for an emergency landing, after shrapnel broke a window and partially sucked Jennifer Riordan out of the Boeing 737 plane.
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Flight 1380 was bound from New York to Dallas with 149 people onboard, and passengers managed to pull Riordan back inside the plane but she later died from her injuries.
Seven other passengers suffered minor injuries during the ordeal.
"We have part of the aircraft missing, so we're gonna need to slow down a bit," Ms Shults, a US navy veteran, told air traffic control.
"Could you have the medical meet us there on the runway as well? We've got injured passengers," she says.
Air controllers ask her if the plane is physically on fire.
"No, it's not on fire. But part of it is missing. They said there's a hole and that someone went out," Ms Shults said.
"Um, I'm sorry, you said there was a hole and somebody went out?...Southwest 1380, it doesn't matter. We'll work it out there."
Ms Shults was one of the navy's first female fighter pilots, and helped train crews to respond to Soviet missile threats according to CNN.
She served as a pistol marksman, an instructor for an electronic warfare plane and a carrier-capable combat jet, and retired in 2001 as a lieutenant commander with a National Defense Service Medal.
Ms Shults is being celebrated for her technical skill and her professionalism during the emergency.
Parts of the engine which dislodged mid-air have now been found on the ground, and the National Transport Safety Board is investigating.