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  • Ruby Noel

Tammy Shults: A Female Piloting Hero

Take a moment to imagine stepping onto a plane, feeling the excitement within you rise as you anticipate reaching your desired destination. Suddenly, the plane jolts, you see engine parts falling to Earth and your entire life flashes before your eyes…149 people boarded the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 plane on Tuesday with Captain Tammie Jo Shults at the controls with no inkling about the life changing event that would occur before making it to Dallas.

Shults is a U.S. military and Navy Reserve veteran and well-known for her professionalism when it comes to flying and piloting. Shults was commissioned in 1985 and completed flight training in Pensacola. Serving at the Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron in Point Mugu, Calif. as an instructor pilot, she flew the EA-6B Prowler and F/A-18 Hornet. She then achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After leaving active duty in 1993, she served in the Navy Reserves until 2001.

It’s stories just like these that make me reinstate any doubt that a higher existence is in power and watches over us. If not for Tammy Shults and her ability to calmly bring down flight #1380, there would be much more than one causality and seven injuries as a result from this emergency landing.

The cause of the accident as far as investigators know was metal fatigue in an engine fan blade that broke off, which caused the engine to explode mid-flight. Shrapnel flying into the air and smashing a window is what ended the life of one passenger and fortunately only injured seven others on board.

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Shults is one of the many female pilots out there saving life, changing the world of flying, and engaging with passengers both in air and on the ground alike about how a calm and collected mind can really allow one to hone in on actions that must be taken to save hundreds of people’s lives in these scenarios.

Females are no longer suited just for the home; they are in continuous lift-off to even better achievements and aspirations. Here is to Shults, an inspiration to other young female want-to-be pilots!

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