Pilot during Southwest Airlines explosion has local ties

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The pilot who brought a Southwest Airlines jet down safely after an explosion Tuesday is from New Mexico. 

Now, Tammi Jo Shults is being called a hero. 

Passengers say the flight crew was taking care of everyone and making sure there was enough oxygen to go around. 

They say Shults stayed calm through the whole ordeal. 

“The pilot was a veteran of the Navy. She had 32 years in… a woman, and she was very good,” passenger Kathy Farnan said. 

The Kansas City Star reports Shults was born in New Mexico, then went on to graduate from Mid-America Nazarene College outside of Kansas City. 

Shults was among the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. military, and the first woman to fly an F-18 for the Navy. 

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