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    Posted on Apr 18, 2018

    The Woman Who Landed That Southwest Flight Is A Total Badass And Here's Everything You Should Know About Her

    Captain Tammie Jo Shults was among the first female fighter pilots for the U.S. Navy.

    In case you hadn't heard, Captain Tammie Jo Shults landed Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 on Tuesday after one of the plane's engines failed — which pretty much makes her A) a hero and B) one badass pilot.

    Here are 16 more facts about Shults that will probably make you say, "Damn. What a queen."

    1. Shults has been called a pioneer in the aviation field.

    Courtesy of Linda Maloney

    Lieutenant Shults in 1991.

    2. According to her Alma Mater, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Shults is one of the first female fighter pilots for the U.S. Navy.

    She graduated from MidAmerica in 1983 with degrees in biology and agribusiness.

    3. And one of Shults's classmates told the Kansas City Star that she was the first woman to fly an F/A-18 Hornet aircraft for the Navy.

    Courtesy of Linda Maloney

    Lieutenants Tammie Jo Shults, Sue Hart, and Linda (Heid) Maloney in 1991.

    4. Shults is also one of only a few female pilots in the commercial airline industry.

    According to Time, 6.33% of commercial pilots are women.

    5. She grew up near an Air Force base and watched daily air shows growing up.

    Luderpt / Getty Images

    In the book Military Fly Moms, Shults recalls, "Some people grow up around aviation. I grew up under it. Our New Mexico ranch sat under the dogfighting airspace of Holloman AFB. I just had to fly!"

    6. In her senior year of high school, in 1979, Shults attended a lecture on aviation — the retired colonel teaching the class asked Shults if she was "lost..."

    Because she was the only girl in attendance.

    7. ...to which she replied that she was not and that she was interested in flying.

    Shults recalled, in Military Fly Moms, "He allowed me to stay but assured me there were no professional women pilots."

    8. The Air Force apparently "wasn't interested" in her, but the Navy let her apply for aviation officer candidate school.

    Tannenbaum Publishing Company / Via amazon.com

    "But they wanted to know if my brother wanted to fly," said Shults.

    9. She attended aviation officer candidate school in Pensacola, FL.

    “Within two months, I was getting my hair buzzed off and doing pushups."

    10. And she was assigned to a training squadron at Naval Air Station Chase Field in Beeville, TX.

    There, she was an instructor pilot teaching students how to fly the Navy T-2 trainer.

    11. Her husband, Dean Shults, is also a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

    Facebook: MNUAlumniandFriends

    They have two children, a boy in his teens and a girl in her twenties.

    12. They met when they were both in the Navy.

    She called him her, "knight in shining airplane." And Dean has said that Tammie Jo is "the best pilot he knows."

    13. After their Navy careers, they decided to try civilian flying together.

    Shults said, "When our squadron tours ended, Dean and I decided to get out of the Navy. We wanted to try our hands at civilian flying and start a family. So, in 1993, I left the Navy, and the following year Dean left active duty as well. We both joined Southwest Airlines — Dean works a full-time schedule, and I typically fly eight to ten days a month. We try to fly the same days so that we are all home together."

    14. In the Navy, she worked for the first female commander of a Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron, Commander Rosemary Mariner.

    Public Domain / Via en.wikipedia.org

    Speaking of Commander Mariner, of the VAQ-34 squadron, Shults wrote, "She opened my eyes to the incredible influence of leadership. She was a shining example of how to lead."

    15. She served in the Navy for 10 years, reaching the rank of Navy lieutenant commander.

    16. And finally, passengers from Flight 1380 are calling Shults, "A true American Hero."

    facebook.com, Amanda Bourman / AP

    Passenger Diana McBride Self took to Facebook and thanked the pilot for her "guidance and bravery in a traumatic situation" and explained that Shults even came back into the plane to speak to each passenger personally.

    Tammie Jo Shults Navy photos courtesy of
    Linda Maloney, CEO / Women Veteran Speakers.

    To learn more about Captain Shults and other women in the military, you can purchase "Military Fly Moms" on Amazon for $46.84.

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