Pilot. Author. Inspirational Speaker.


Tammie Jo Shults possessed an early interest in flying, but she faced various obstacles on her path to becoming a military pilot. Applying her lifelong trait of perseverance, she eventually became one of the first female F/A-18 Hornet pilots in the United States Navy. Her duties, before women were allowed into combat roles, encompassed teaching Out Of Control Flight as well as serving as a bogey/bandit against Top Gun students as well as other squadrons, ships or entire carrier groups.
After concluding her Navy career, she flew over Forrest fires one summer then became a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Tammie Jo's incredible history and talent received wide acclaim on April 17, 2018, when she successfully landed a Southwest Boeing 737 after an engine exploded at high altitude, causing multiple system failures and a rapid depressurization. The successful landing of Flight 1380 in Philadelphia saved 148 total lives including passengers and crew, as detailed in her National Best Seller book, Nerves of Steel.

Tammie Jo and her husband Dean live in Texas, and Dean also enjoys flying for Southwest Airlines. The couple has two adult children and are committed to living out their faith and serving in their community. They are active in their church and volunteer at a school focusing on at-risk youth. While Captain Shults retired from commercial flying in September 2020, she continues to dedicate herself to volunteer piloting and serves on various boards, including the first DOT Women’s In Aviation Advisory Board to the FAA, Pearl Harbor Aviation Board, Angel Flight South Central Board and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Board. In addition, she has received a number of aviation awards, the latest being inducted into the International Aviation Hall of Fame (fewer that 10 women inducted individually) as well as the Wings Club of New York’s Outstanding Aviator Award for 2022.

Captain Shults’ incredible and uplifting novel, Nerves of Steel, tells the story of her tireless pursuit of becoming a pilot and the challenges she faced along the way, including safely landing the severely crippled Southwest Airline Flight 1380. Through her experiences, Captain Shults teaches readers how to face challenges with grace, cultivate strong habits, and turn adversity into strength.

Captain Shults captivates audiences with her life story and the adversity she faced on her path to becoming a pilot. Through her fierce determination, Captain Shults demonstrates the building blocks necessary to lead and manage a crisis even under severe pressure. Through her insight, Captain Shults has motivated thousands of individuals to transform adversity into strength, and strength into the courage to take action.

Teaches “life lessons” (with a taste of aviation) weekly at a charter school for high risk kids, Oaks Academy, Boerne, TX.

In 2020, Captain Shults committed herself to joining a network of pilots dedicated to volunteering for the nonprofit organization, Angel Flight. The organization arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs. Captain Shults will serve among many other honorable pilots who donate their aircraft, piloting skills, and flying costs to help families in need. To learn more about Angel Flight or get involved, visit Angel Flight’s website at the link below.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Captain Tammie Jo Shults is proud to be a part of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Master's of Science Leadership course. Among other contributions, you can find a short leadership video recorded by Captain Shults in the course as well!

For more information, please visit the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University website.

Women in Aviation Advisory Board

Women are significantly underrepresented in aviation. Congress created the Women in Aviation Advisory Board (WIAAB) to develop independent recommendations and strategies for the Federal Aviation Administration to encourage female students and women to pursue careers in aviation. Part of the Board’s task is to examine trends that directly or indirectly encourage or discourage women from pursuing aviation careers. To assist the Board in understanding industry trends, the Board seeks input about the industry and career opportunities from women who are not working in aviation. Your responses are greatly appreciated! Your responses will be anonymous. A summary of the de-identified, aggregated results will be shared with the WIAAB.

For questions, contact, Dr. Becky Lutte: Associate Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha Aviation Institute, rlutte@unomaha.edu

International Air & Space Hall of Fame

Captain Shults was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame during a very special virtual gala on December 10, 2020. This distinguished honor was bestowed upon Captain Shults for her groundbreaking influence in aviation and her pioneering spirit. We congratulate Captain Shults for this incredible achievement! To read the full story, click on the link below.

Boerne Book & Arts Festival

Follow along with the Boerne Book & Arts Festival as Captain Shults leads a fascinating discussion with three authors, James Fenelon, James Hornfischer, and Alex Kershaw, who write on the subject of World War II.

Women in Aviation Advisory Board

We are proud to announce Captain Shults’ apointal as a member of the Women In Aviation Advisory Board! Women in Aviation seeks to develop and provide independent recommendations and strategies to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to explore opportunities for encouraging and supporting female students and aviators to pursue a career in aviation. Through the organization and its initiatives, Captain Shults hopes to inspire young women on their path to becoming aviators. She is honored to be aligned with this incredible organization and looks forward to forging new opportunities for young women, much like herself, who dreamed of a career in aviation. To learn more about Women in Aviation and their work, please click on the link below.


Nerves of Steel is the captivating true story of Tammie Jo Shults’ remarkable life—from growing up the daughter of humble ranchers, 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.

'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

'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

'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

'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

'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

'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

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Scheduled Events

June 2022


Savannah, GA

June 30, 2022

Samaritan’s Purse

July 4, 2022

Samaritan’s Purse

August 3, 2022

Women’s Art Collection of Women in Uniform, Arlington’s Women's Memorial

Washington, D.C.

August 13, 2022

AFSC Gala - Frontiers of Flight Museum

Dallas, TX

September 12 - 14, 2022

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association - Communicating for Safety Conference

Houston, TX

November 11, 2022

Olathe Community Prayer Breakfast

Olathe, KS

Past Speaking Engagements

  • Ambulatory Surgical Center Association, Dallas, TX
  • Zonta Club – Amelia Earhart Luncheon, Weatherford, TX
  • Flight Safety Summit
  • MMOPA Convention, Nashville, TN
  • National Assistance League Keynote
  • Museum of the Bible, Washington, D.C.
  • Evangel University, Laguna Niguel Ritz Carlton, Dana Point, CA
  • Texas Woman’s University, Jane Nelson School of Leadership, Denton, TX
  • IAWA Conference, Charleston, SC
  • International Air Space Hall of Fame, San Diego, CA
  • 4word’s 7th Annual Gala, Dallas, TX
  • Patriot Military Family Foundation Bag Lady Luncheon, Charlotte, NC
  • Institute of Ethical Leadership - Southern Adventist Church, Denver, CO
  • Wings Club Annual Meeting - The Yale Club, New York, NY
  • Mercy St. Louis Hospital, Springfield, MO