Nerves of Steel is the captivating true story of Tammie Jo Shults’s remarkable life—from growing up the daughter of a humble rancher, to breaking through gender barriers as one of the Navy’s first female F/A 18 Hornet pilots, to safely landing the severely crippled Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 and helping save the lives of 148 people.
Tammie Jo Shults has spent her entire life loving the skies. Though the odds were against her, she became one of the few female fighter pilots in the Navy. In 1994, after serving her country honorably for eight years, Tammie Jo left the Navy and joined Southwest Airlines in the early 1990’s.
On April 17, 2018, Tammie Jo was called to service once again. Twenty minutes into a routine domestic flight, Captain Shults was faced with the unthinkable—a catastrophic engine failure in the Boeing 737 caused an explosion that punctured hydraulic lines and severed fuel lines, tearing away sections of the plane, puncturing a window, and taking a woman’s life. Captain Shults and her first officer, Darren Ellisor, struggled to stabilize the aircraft.
Drawing deeply from her well of experience, Tammie Jo was able to wrestle the severely damaged 737 safely to the ground. Not originally scheduled for that flight, there is no doubt God had prepared her and placed her right where she needed to be that day.
''Nerves of Steel is truly one of the most inspiring, beautifully written, and important books of my lifetime. I am an avid reader, but Tammie Jo''s story resonated with me like no other. She is a champion for not only women but for all who want to be better, stronger, and more loving human beings. Her story and life lessons should be read by everyone. She is a model of faith, ferocity, and femininity. Despite her unique and extraordinary story, Nerves of Steel is so relatable--I felt I was by Tammie Jo''s side marveling and cheering her on through every twist and turn of her life. And what a life she has had. I will tell everyone I know about this book. Must-read should be shouted from the rooftops.'' --Martha Raddatz, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and bestselling author, The Long Road Home
''Tammie Jo Shults is one gutsy woman who didn''t let the glass ceiling in a man''s world keep her from shattering it and pursuing her own dream. As a pilot for almost fifty years, I am inspired and blessed to know her and her family. This riveting story profiles a remarkable lady with a sure destination and nerves of steel.'' --Franklin Graham, president and CEO, Samaritan''s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
''Captain Tammie Jo Shults is a hometown hero to South Texans. More than that, Tammie Jo is a hero of faith. Her nerves of steel were forged in learning to trust God in all seasons--through times of turbulence and periods of testing--and to keep Him in the center of her life. In Nerves of Steel, she reminds us that life''s challenges and the choices we make equip us to face anything with confidence and that we don''t face them alone.'' --Max Lucado, pastor and bestselling author, How Happiness Happens
''Most people know Tammie Jo Shults from her landing of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380. But it was quieter moments that defined her--from the work ethic she learned growing up on her family''s farm to overcoming financial adversity and gender discrimination. In this deeply personal account of her life story, Tammie Jo shows us how the nerves of steel that helped her safely land the damaged aircraft had been forged from lessons learned during seasons of turbulence in her life. Tammie Jo is living proof that the real mark of heroes is not the feats they achieve but their capacity for hope, resiliency, and caring for others. Her story will certainly resonate with women who have had to swim upstream in fields traditionally dominated by men, but the lessons of perseverance she learned along the way will inspire anyone who is facing bumps on the road to achieving their own dreams.'' --Penny Pennington, managing partner, Edward Jones
''Southwest Flight 1380 might have been the first time many of us heard the name Tammie Jo Shults, but it won''t be the last. From a life of service to God, her family, and others--which includes navigating the rigors of the military--Tammie Jo has continually modeled how hard work and sacrifice become the building blocks of a life well-lived. Don''t miss this rich, inspiring story of overcoming challenges that by their nature prepare us for what''s ahead. It''s proof positive that when we do what God calls us to do, He will provide the nerves of steel we need to do it.'' --Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor, First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas
''It is not often that one has the opportunity to be a hero and even more seldom does that opportunity come along twice. Tammie Jo Shults''s inspirational story is one of service, grit, and humbling endurance in the face of discrimination and visceral danger. Her persistence paved the way for countless pilots to follow, and against all odds her composure saved the lives of 148 people on that Southwest flight. I feel honored to know her and to have read her story and am excited that others get the chance to see what true courage looks like.'' --Peter Berg, director, producer, writer, and actor
''Tammie Jo Shults is a hero in every sense of the word, shown not only through her leadership and skill during the compound emergencies of Southwest Flight 1380 but with all she has accomplished during an incredible career. Tammie Jo is, however, more than a hero: she is a role model to young and old, in her community and across the country. She has an inspiring life story to tell, one that crosses decades of accomplishments while overcoming serious obstacles--ultimately leading to triumph in faith, family, and flight. Nerves of Steel gives us the real Tammie Jo and lets us understand what a truly amazing person she is in all aspects of life. It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have flown with Tammie Jo and become close personal friends. Anyone looking for inspiration, courage, and heroics will find them in this book.'' --Captain Darren Ellisor, Southwest Flight 1380 First Officer
Captain Tammie Jo Shults is a Southwest Airlines captain and former naval aviator who received wide acclaim when, on April 17, 2018, she and her crew successfully landed a Boeing 737 after catastrophic engine failure and rapid decompression, saving the lives of 148 people. Shults’s early interest in flying led her to become one of the first female F/A-18 Hornet pilots in the United States Navy after overcoming several obstacles due to her gender. At the conclusion of her Navy career, Shults became a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Her incredible talent and notable history have made her an inspiration to many.