The plane which was carrying 149 passengers, made an emergency landing at Philadelphia airport.
One of the jet engines broke apart around 20 minutes into the flight, sending debris into the side of the plane.
Shults is a recognizable figure at the Texas Hill Country church, which averages 900 in worship. The pair has two children.
The 56-year-old pilot's mother-in-law, Virginia, told the press that Shults' faith gave her peace and wisdom and she was likely talking to God as she worked on the safe landing. "That's what she sounds like", Thompson said in an interview. Passengers rushed to pull her back inside and then provided CPR but she was later pronounced dead. Seven other passengers were treated for injuries.
"Their loss is the most profound", a description on the website reads, "as they will not get the chance to know her in her full force of service and dedication as many children do as they grow and know their parents - seeing her as more than Mommy and in the full grace of her being and selfless service".
"We all feel we were simply doing our jobs", Shults and Ellisor said in a statement posted on the airline's social media pages.
Mike Mantooth, executive pastor of ministries and missions at First Baptist, wrote in an email: "I'm always amazed at the caliber of people at FBC Boerne".
"While we at that time had an exclusion, she was in fact helping male pilots hone their skills", Flanders said.More news: Apple Watch Series 3: Bharti Airtel partners Apple for India launch
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Passenger Kathy Farnan said crew members knew what they were doing and kept everyone calm. Our hearts are heavy.
"We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from family, friends and our community".
Shults and Ellisor said they won't be partaking in any interviews, and "ask that the public and the media respect our focus".
Shults long has evidenced a heart for evangelism and ministries of compassion, Thompson said. She's among the first female fighter pilots for the U.S. Navy, and of the first women to fly the F/A -18.
"I had leaned over and grabbed on to her belt loops and her waist and wrapped my arm around her waist and tried to pull", Mackey told United States station KTVQ.
But her flight on Tuesday was something straight out of a nightmare.
A Southwest flight from Baltimore to Chicago returned to the gate shortly after departing due to a medical situation on board.
"From her waist above, she was outside of the plane", said passenger Eric Zilbert.
"It was because of him, not her", Thompson said. "He was the captain". Shults is a deeply devout and outspoken "Christian woman" who sought to "witness Christ" through her work.