Pilots recall how they prepared for emergency landing after engine failure: Part 4

Meanwhile, nurse Peggy Phillips and firefighter Andrew Needum continue to try to revive fellow passenger Jennifer Riordan.
6:53 | 05/12/18

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Transcript for Pilots recall how they prepared for emergency landing after engine failure: Part 4
Reporter: Captain tammie Jo Shults and first officer Darren Ellisor have their hands full trying to get 144 passengers and five crew members back on the ground safely. The crushing rush of wind from the breach in the main cabin has invaded the cockpit. How would you describe yourselves in the cockpit? I mean, it's this whooshing sound? Drive 80 miles an hour on the freeway, roll all your windows down. Of course we were going faster than that. We had to use hand signals, because it was loud. And there was -- it was just hard to communicate. A lot of -- a lot of -- a lot of pointing. A lot of pointing. And nodding. Reporter: The pilots put the plane into a dive heading for lower altitude. When the oxygen masks drop, you have to descend quickly. Uh-huh. And why is that? Well, the air up at 32,000 feet has a lot less oxygen in it. So, you can start to get hypoxia symptoms. You could pass out. Reporter: On the ground, air traffic controller Cory Davids noticed something wasn't right. The aircraft was turning a little bit left off course. All I heard was static and a couple of bells and whistles. My first thought that maybe there was a struggle in the cockpit, similar to 9/11. South0 has an engine fire. Descending. I mean, she really had nerves of steel. Okay, where would you like to go to? Which airport? Give us a vector for your I don't know what it's like to be on a plane that ends up crashing, where everyone on board dies. But it sure felt like that's how it begins. Tammie Jo come over the intercom and says that, you know, "We're gonna be emergency landing in Philadelphia." I started crying pretty uncontrollably because, you know, this was -- the end I didn't think we were going to make it. I was glad to hear that they had found a runway for us. But, I wasn't believing that we were going to make it with everything going on. Is your airplane physically on fire? Reporter: Shults relays a message to an incredulous air traffic controller. No, it's not on fire, but part of it's missing. They said there was a hole and, uh, someone went out. Um, I'm sorry, you said there was a hole and somebody went out? Reporter: As the 737 continues its rapid descent, air traffic clears the way, stopping all planes in and out of Philadelphia. Flight 1380 punches through the clouds giving passengers their first glimmer of hope. I was kinda saying the lord's prayer. At first it was, "Please, please, please, let me see land." As soon as we could see land, I felt like we had a chance of this not having a horrific ending. We were on a call and I remember saying, "I see land, sweetheart. I see land. We're gonna try and land." They had us, you know, bend over, and -- and put our hands above our heads. Brace. And -- and yeah, and brace for the landing. The flight attendants came over the pa and they started saying, "Brace for impact. Take cover. Brace for impact." She was just shouting over and over. "Brace for impact. Brace for impact." The coming in was terrifying. I knew we were going too fast. Reporter: Meanwhile, nurse Peggy Phillips and firefighter Andrew needum never stop trying to revive fellow passenger Jennifer Riordan. Andrew was like, "Brace." And then he's like pushing me kind of down to the floor, and he continued to do compressions even as we landed. Reporter: The plane hits the runway at roughly 190 miles per hour, much faster than the typical 155. But those in the cabin don't seem to mind. And then we landed. Everyone cheered. That's when everybody -- the magnitude of what happened really hit people. I picked my phone up, and I said, "Sweetheart, we made it. I'm alive. I love you." It was one of the best landings I ever had on an airplane, to be honest. Reporter: All the training had paid off. But even on terra firma, captain Shults was a creature of habit, following the strict pilot protocol before leaving her jump seat. How you practice is how you play even like putting away our oxygen mask and things like that after the flight. Despite the fact that that airplane was pretty much trashed, you still put your oxygen mask in its place, correct? Absolutely. Reporter: Paramedics rush Jennifer Riordan off the plane and as passengers begin their exit, captain Shults emerges from the cockpit. I took a walk through just to have eye contact and speak to them. We wanted to know if they were okay. I was so in shock I didn't really realize who she was or -- you know what I mean? I didn't know that was a pilot. And, you know, I said, "Man, the guy that landed this thing is really awesome." You know? He just said that he wanted to go shake the hands of the guys who landed the aircraft. And she turned and she looked at me and she said, "I landed this bird." You know? Yep, cool. Cool lady. She explained about the hydraulics. I said how did you land the plane? She said pilates. I said you're a hero. Reporter: Then there's a picture of you with your phone up to your ear. Who were you talking to? I was talking to my wife. She thought I was talking about some other event going on. Then I said the words, Jen, I'm okay. There's been an accident. Reporter: Despite the heroic efforts both in front and in back of the plane, no one could escape the pall of what had happened in row 14. It seems it's a complicated pride because you lost a passenger. Right. Regardless of us being safe, none of us were okay, because one of us wasn't. I just kept thinking, like -- like, if I was strong enough, if I had pulled her in, would she live? You did everything you possibly could have done.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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