American Airlines Flight Attendant Saves Lives

When a co-pilot became seriously ill, this flight attendant quickly jumped into action to help land the plane full of passengers. INSIDE EDITION has the story.

She's the hero flight attendant who helped land a jumbo jet with 232 people onboard!

"It was not your ordinary work day."  61-year-old flight attendant Patti Deluna spoke to reporters after the tense landing.  

Deluna said, "On the airplane, we work as a team.  Nobody's a star, not even the captain."

Here's what happened.  Two hours into the American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Chicago, the co-pilot became violently ill with flu-like symptoms.  That's when Patti stepped in.  

She has a pilot's license to fly small jets, but it's inactive and she hadn't flown a plane in 20 years.  

"I started flying when I was 18 in 1966," Deluna said.

Remember the classic comedy Airplane when a flight attendant spastically helps land a plane?

Well, it wasn't anything like that.  Patti kept her cool backing up the pilot as they landed the jumbo jet together.

"I told him I was not a panicky type, I wouldn't be grabbing the wheel and going nuts," Deluna recalled.

"The entire incident was handled very well on all accounts," said an American Airlines spokesperson.

Here's what we've learned about Patti.  She's married, lives in San Francisco, and loves dancing, fitness and adventure movies.  No surprise there!