Devout hero: Might Southwest pilot Tammie Jo Shults' 'nerves of steel' be related to her strong faith?

If you follow the news, you know that a Southwest Airlines plane made an emergency landing Tuesday after an engine exploded.

Sadly, one passenger was killed and seven others wounded.

But pilot Tammie Jo Shults is being praised for her "nerves of steel" in calmly maneuvering the plane to the ground and avoiding a much worse catastrophe.

News reports also have noted that Shults is a pioneer who was among the U.S. Navy's first female pilots trained to fly fighter aircraft.

So, why does this story merit attention by GetReligion? I'm so glad you asked.

Enter reader David Yoder, who tipped us to be on the lookout for holy ghosts in the coverage of Shults.

"She's a committed Christian," Yoder told us.

That was news to me: I saw no mention of the faith angle in profiles of Shults by CNN, ABC News, the New York Times or The Associated Press.

But as I started Googling, I was pleased to see a number of news organizations did catch this angle.

The Washington Post offered these strong details:

Her mother-in-law also described her as a devout Christian, with a faith she thinks may have contributed to her calm state amid the emergency landing.
“I know God was with her, and I know she was talking to God,” Virginia Shults said.

Reuters had equally impressive content:

A Christian, who is married to a fellow pilot and has two children, Shults said that sitting in the captain's chair gave her "the opportunity to witness for Christ on almost every flight."
Bourman was among passengers who said they had been saved by divine intervention.
"God sent his angels to watch over us," she said.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News talked to a neighbor who referenced the pilot's faith:

Sandy Green, who has lived in Boerne for about 20 years with her family, said Tammie Jo and Dean Shults have been her neighbors for several years.
When Green's son told her Tuesday that he'd read on the internet that their neighbor was Flight 1380's pilot, she wasn't surprised by her heroism.
"Heck no, she's a strong Christian lady," she said. "She's a very confident person. She was doing her job. ... I'm so happy she was able to land safely, for all those people. So proud she was able to do her job."

I didn't have time to read all the coverage by major news organizations. What did I miss — good and bad?

UPDATE: I've added a new post on this same subject:

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