DALLAS — The initial shock was so violent from the blown engine on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 that Tammie Jo Shults thought there had been a midair collision.

"We couldn't see, we couldn't breathe, and a piercing pain stabbed our ears, all while the aircraft snapped into a rapid roll and skidded hard to the left as the nose of the aircraft pitched over, initiating a dive toward the ground," Shults wrote in her book Nerves of Steel, which was released Oct. 8.

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It should come as no surprise that the heroic pilot who landed a stricken Southwest Airlines 737 after its engine exploded and shattered a window is former Navy fighter pilot.

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