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

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  568 ratings  ·  93 reviews
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 en
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 4.52  · 
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 ·  568 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Start your review of Nerves of Steel: How I Followed My Dreams, Earned My Wings, and Faced My Greatest Challenge
This is a fabulous story of a ranch girl from New Mexico. She broke barriers to become one of the Navy’s first women R/A-18 Hornet pilots to being the Captain of Southwest Airline’s flight 1380. Shults worked as a pilot fighting fires before going to work for Southwest Airlines.

The book is extremely well written. Shults tells of her early life, her battles to become a pilot to saving 148 lives on flight 1380. The story tells about a person who is talented, smart, competent and well trained. I li
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing woman!

I am a coworker of Tammie Jo. I have flown with her as a flight attendant since she was a new first officer at Southwest Airlines. She has always been an exemplary coworker and most of us never even knew of any of her past accomplishments as she does not brag on herself at all. She has always been someone I enjoy flying with. I was lucky enough to fly with Tammie Jo on her first flight back after flight 1380 and she handled herself with extreme poise and professionalism on
L.A. Starks
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tammie Jo Shults is the Southwest Airlines pilot who safely landed crippled Flight 1380 in Philadelphia, saving the lives of 148 people on board, after one engine came apart mid-air, puncturing the plane.

I recommend this book highly to all action-adventure and thriller readers, as well as to anyone facing day-to-day challenges in a job or career. Shults persisted in becoming a pilot, first in the military and then at Southwest, when too many men thought women did not belong in the pilot's seat.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you, like me (a) don't believe in God or (b) don't associate LITERALLY EVERYTHING with "God's will" this book is likely to grate on you.

I'm a female aviation geek who RELISHES stories of women in aviation. I downloaded the audiobook expecting to get a detailed insight into the flight in question, but instead it was a lot of "Heavenly Father" talk and aviation terminology that I imagine went over most people's heads... that is, after I skipped ahead about 8 chapters. A weird mix. Take a minut
Oct 16, 2019 added it
I wanted to read it until this line in the synopsis: "there is no doubt God had prepared her and placed her right where she needed to be that day." Ugh. No. ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This autobiography traces the life of a talented pilot who had to fight many times for her career as a Naval Aviator and commercial airline pilot culminating with her handling of an in-flight emergency. The actions of Captain Tammie Jo Shults, her crew, and assisting passengers during the 20 minutes after the port engine of their B-737-700 suffered catastrophic damage were nothing short of exemplary. Added to the lost engine emergency was the explosive decompression caused by a fan blade penetra ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-2020
The story of a remarkable life, from ranch girl to Navy fighter pilot, to making headlines as a Southwest Airlines pilot safely landing a severely damaged plane that started coming apart mid-flight. It's a story of incredible resilience and strengh, of following one's dreams and persevering in the face of hostility and barriers placed in one's way. I enjoyed this for the most part, despite numerous occasions of tuning out whenever she started going on about how much she loves Jesus and whatnot. ...more
Suzanna Sedenszki
Great Read about How to Persevere and Overcome

I loved this book. As a woman, who also experienced bootcamp like training, and working in a male dominant field, I could certainly relate to Captain Tammie Jo's experience. I truly appreciate the fact that she acknowledges God's help, grace, and blessings on her life in the book. Uplifting, and encouraging. Highly recommend it!
Clara K Page
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Loved, loved, loved this book. This book was so inspiring in so many ways. The struggles she went through to become a pilot and continued to have because of being a female. The true dependence she had on God and her living the Christian life through all areas of her life...and that doesn't even include her successfully landing of the crippled Boeing 747. Highly recommend this book.
Karen Anderson
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aviation, airport-buy
Disappointed and a bit surprised about the BS she received from the SWA pilots.
It is a bit heavy on the religion but that's Capt Shults' life.
Not quite linear in the story telling

Stay away from LGA.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF - She may have done great things but this kind of narrative is not my cup of tea.
Val Milborn
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I loved this book. The step by step development of her talents and focus while allowing God to guide her showed me that while we may not understand the whys and where’s, God does and He prepares us like He has promised He would.
Peaceful Warrior
Jan 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Did not finish the book. It's partly about God. Oh no such a shame.. ...more
This was a fast read for me; I had a hard time putting it down. I thought it was well-written, fascinating, interesting, and filled with both hard moments and moments of humor. The book starts out with the accident occurring before backing up to tell the story of the author’s life before returning to the accident and what happened in both the cockpit and passenger sections as the pilot and co-pilot fought to land the damaged aircraft and save as many lives in the process.

It was difficult to read
Christopher Lawson
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"There's a reason Southwest gives you two."

So commented the author's son, Marshall, upon hearing his captain mom had had some sort of engine problem. Of course, he didn't realize then the "problem" his mom had survived was actually an engine blowing up, along with loss of key controls, tearing out a window, and cabin depressurization. The highpoint of the book is how Captain Shults coped with this onslaught of problems--and yet somehow, keeping cool the entire time.

The title of the book comes
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
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. 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. Not originally scheduled f ...more
Stephen Bishop
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Other reviewers have no doubt already commented along the lines that I would take. This is an amazing account of someone whose goal of flying was achieved with enormous guts and skill. But she is at pains to point out that it was also family, friends and her robust faith that sustained her. One would guess that the American military would be embarrassedarassed and ashamed of the treatment she had to face at times. This included two clear attempts to end her career - and her life - in contrived i ...more
Beth H
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book.

Tammie Jo has had an extensive career in flying - both in the Navy and later in the commercial world with Southwest Airlines. She recently landed the disabled Southwest plane which was in the news in 2018. Tammie Jo's life started with her childhood in the SW part of the country and follows her through college and her eventual career in the Navy as one of the very few female pilots. Her perseverance and resilience is impressive as she faced many battles a
Tab Uno
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nerves of Steel is an amazing read more for the real life of Tammie Jo Shults than the editor's decision to omit or de-emphasize some prominent portions of Shult's life. By the end of this easy to read and fascinating, important story of Tammie's life, there linger a number of unanswered questions or descriptions that call out for more: Tammie's father's huge financial problems, her major in college, her engagement, experiences with instrument flying, air to ground missiles, POW training, Boeing ...more
David Faxon
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lesson in perseverance and faith

Nerves of Steel is a must read for every would be aviator who dreams of piloting an F-18 for the Navy or captaining a 737 for Southwest Airlines. Tami Jo Shults has authored a well written account that describes the many obstacles and predjudices she had to overcome to achieve what few women of her time were able to do. Above all, it is a testament to her enduring faith in God that helped her overcome so many challenges. Her account of the flight of SWA 1380 bri
Jose M
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Fighter pilot: THE coolest thing in the world. That’s what I thought growing up , and still do. Tammy Jo exemplifies this picture , at its best, with all the attributes that should go along. Sex is - or should be - irrelevant in this setting . Either you have IT or you don’t. Period. Tammy clearly has it.
One can only hope that all the despicable conduct of many of Tammy’s superiors are a thing of the past . It should be. What are you going to do: Ban women from ( in
Jennifer Blocker
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Easy 5 stars. Maybe even more. This is an amazing read. I won’t include any spoilers, but unless you’ve been under a rock since 2018, then you’ve at least heard about Flight 1380. This book is the life story of Captain Tammie Jo Shultz. This is the most empowering book I’ve ever read. Her writing style is so easy to read and I found myself done with this book in almost one sitting. Truly amazing. Her trials. Her issues with the Navy.... amazing account!!! I’d like to know the real names of some ...more
David Patsel
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic Book

I could not put this book down, especially the ending. What a beautiful and selfless life Captain Shults has lived. She’s an amazing woman, human being and aviator. Thank God she was in the right place at the right time with the right training.

This entire book is captivating. It made me, as a male, examine if I’m treating the females (and others) with the fairness and respect they deserve and have earned. I’m sure reading this has changed my view of God, the world around me and my
Mary Magin
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up expecting someone to tell me about a feat of heroism and quick thinking that saved all but one passenger on a Southwest flight.
Instead, I read a story of a spiritual, humble woman who lives for family, friends and country. She crashed through the glass ceiling piloting a fighter jet and training fighter pilots and told her story without one speck of self aggrandizement.
Tammy Jo Shults is a woman to be emulated. She's set a standard that all humanity will do well to strive t
Erin Miller
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am grateful that Tammie Jo has appeared in my network and I have been able to chat with her. This book reflects well her life experiences leading up to the aviation incident which prompted news outlets to highlight her prowess in landing a damaged aircraft, skills developed over many years of personal and career challenges, and she seems to encourage the reader to believe that we can all overcome the various and diverse challenges we each encounter along our journey in life.
Kimberly Patton
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this first read of 2020. It started with the flavor of memoir and then moved to one woman’s path through a world paves only for men. It was fascinating to read the struggles she went through to get to fly a plane. I was impressed with her perseverance. Of course all the action of the book was focused near the end when she landed a plane with only one engine, but I had already enjoyed the book so much up until that point, that the final story was just icing on top.
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent summary of a life lived with first priority on God and in relationship with Jesus Christ. That foundation leads a young girl to live her dream to fly by becoming one of the first women fighter pilots in the Navy. Eventually, she was placed in the right place with the right experience to save the lives of her crew and passengers after an engine explosion. How God prepared her is a story worth reading. Even in our worst moments he has only our very best in mind.
JoJo Maize
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Worthy and Selfless Individual

I enjoy memoirs of an exciting life. I am a veteran who experienced the Good-ole-boy mentality in the military. While Capt. Shultz doesn't dwell on sexual harassment in the military, it is a real and demeaning part of military service for women. Military Sexual Trauma is specific and common enough to have been given a name. Nevertheless, she powered through and achieved her goal. I found her story encouraging and uplifting.
Aug 22, 2020 rated it liked it
About the 2018 Southwest Air jet that was crippled over PA and the (female) captain who landed it with only one casualty. Actually it's her story from childhood to Naval experience to commercial pilot and all the pushback/discrimination she experienced. Her strong faith and supportive family gave her the ability to carry on. There were some weaknesses in the writing and pieces of her story left dangling which accounts for my rating. ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a completely awesome book! This woman has lived one of the most exciting lives of anyone I've ever known. She also is a great author. I was getting sad toward the end of her book when I discovered there is a talk the author gave at a dinner that is presented at the very end. What a joy to listen to this great woman's voice speak of some of her life's events! This author is an excellent role model for all women not just young women. ...more
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Welcome Aboard,

For those of you who may not know me, my name is Tammie Jo Shults and I am a Southwest Airlines Captain and former Navy pilot. I grew up in New Mexico, and my early interest in flying led me to pursue a career in aviation. I eventually become one of the first females to fly the F/A-18 Hornet after overcoming several obstacles due to being a woman in the man’s world of military aviat

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