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Nerves of Steel: How I Followed My Dreams, Earned My Wings, and Faced My Greatest Challenge

Nerves of Steel: How I Followed My Dreams, Earned My Wings, and Faced My Greatest Challenge

Thomas Nelson 2019 Hardcover

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Nerves of Steel is the inspirational true story of Tammie Jo Shults's remarkable life--from growing up the daughter of a rancher, dreaming of someday becoming a pilot, to breaking through as one of the Navy's first female F/A-18 Hornet pilots, to saving lives as the captain of Flight 1380.

Twenty minutes into a routine domestic flight, Captain Tammie Jo Shults is faced with the unthinkable--a catastrophic engine failure in her Boeing 737 causes an explosion that severs hydraulic and 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, struggle to stabilize the aircraft. The passengers gasp for their next breath and fear for their lives. They need a strong hand to guide them and assurance that they will survive.

Nerves of Steel is the inspirational story of a remarkable woman who beat the odds and fulfilled her dreams of chasing adventure in the sky. Tammie Jo's upbringing on a ranch in New Mexico taught her the value of hard work. She also learned that gender doesn't have to determine job assignments as daily chores were delegated evenly between her and her brother. And living on the edge of a hundred miles of nothing fostered other virtues that would serve her well--independence and confidence in her abilities to live, work, and, if necessary, survive.

Reading books about pilots and watching Air Force trainees hone their skills in the skies over their ranch instilled in Tammie Jo a love for the adventure of flying. And thinking she could possibly fly as well as serve her country birthed a dream. Though the odds--as well as the recruiters--were against her, her tenacity eventually paid off. Through dogged determination and a healthy dose of God's grace, she earned her Navy wings of gold and went on to become one of the first females to fly the F/A-18 Hornet. After serving her country honorably for eight years, she left the Navy and joined Southwest Airlines in the early 1990s.

On April 17, 2018, Tammie Jo was called to service once again. Drawing deeply from her well of experience, she was able to wrestle her 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.

More Product Information


  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • ISBN: 0785228314
  • ISBN-13: 9780785228318
  • SKU: 9780785228318
  • Release Date: October 8, 2019
  • Pages: 288
  • Language: English
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Height: 1.20 inches
  • Width: 6.10 inches
  • Length: 9.10 inches
  • Weight: 1.00 pounds

About the Author


Tammie Jo Shults

Tammie Jo Shults

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.

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