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The Morning Brew: OU professor assisted Southwest Airlines passenger

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One passenger was killed in the accident 

National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwest Airlines jet blew the engine at 32,000 feet and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window, setting off a desperate scramble by passengers to save a woman from getting sucked out. She later died, and seven others were injured. (NTSB via AP)
National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwest Airlines jet blew the engine at 32,000 feet and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window, setting off a desperate scramble by passengers to save a woman from getting sucked out. She later died, and seven others were injured. (NTSB via AP)

OU sports beat writer Brooke Pryor tells the tale of an OU professor who found herself in the middle of terrifying situation while aboard a Southwest Airlines flight this week.  

Most flights, Hollie Mackey opts for a window seat near the front of the plane.

But on Tuesday, long lines through security at New York's LaGuardia Airport caused her to miss her boarding position and pushed her back a couple rows from her preferred seat.

Because the 10:30 a.m. flight to Dallas was scheduled to be a four-hour haul, the University of Oklahoma associate professor of women's and gender studies chose mobility over comfort. She went with an aisle seat on Row 14 of Southwest Flight 1380.

“I always heard above the wing is the safest place in the plane,” said Mackey, who was flying back from an academic conference. “So I thought, ‘Well, I'll sit here.'”

She had no way of knowing that she was sitting in the most dangerous row of that plane. Soon after takeoff, a blown engine shattered a window and nearly sucked Mackey's seatmate out of the plane.

Jennifer Riordan boarded the Boeing 737 behind Mackey and stopped when she got to Row 14, warmly smiling as she asked if she could slide to the window seat.

A little while after Riordan, a Wells Fargo banking executive from New Mexico, sat down, a preteen girl scooted into the middle seat.

More here.

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Flower bouquets are displayed at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Wednesday November, 16 2016. Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, 51, was shot and killed by former Southwest employee Lloyd Dean Buie, 45, on Tuesday afternoon. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman

Flower bouquets are displayed at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Wednesday November, 16 2016. Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, 51, was shot and killed by former Southwest employee Lloyd Dean Buie, 45, on Tuesday afternoon. Photo...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b38e02fd022b7b5134a429aff06c8187.jpg" alt="Photo - Flower bouquets are displayed at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Wednesday November, 16 2016. Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, 51, was shot and killed by former Southwest employee Lloyd Dean Buie, 45, on Tuesday afternoon. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman" title="Flower bouquets are displayed at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Wednesday November, 16 2016. Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, 51, was shot and killed by former Southwest employee Lloyd Dean Buie, 45, on Tuesday afternoon. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Flower bouquets are displayed at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Wednesday November, 16 2016. Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, 51, was shot and killed by former Southwest employee Lloyd Dean Buie, 45, on Tuesday afternoon. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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