If you’ve been hearing the name Tammie Jo Shults all weekend, it’s for good reason. The Southwest pilot displayed incredible courage, skill and calmnessunder pressure after a major plane malfunction, and her story is too amazing not to share.
On Tuesday, a Southwest flight from New York to Dallas made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of the engines exploded in midair, sending metal shrapnel through one of the windows, which depressurized the plane and led to one passenger’s tragic death. Shults, under remarkable and terrifying circumstances, managed to land the plane manually with only one engine, saving the lives of 148 passengers.
Shults, who was one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy (um, whoa), has seen her biography reported extensively since the incident, including the facts that she flew missions during Operation Desert Storm and was one of the first women to fly an F/A-18 Hornet. The Navy veteran was said to have “nerves of steel” by the passengers on the plane and is being lauded as a true American hero.
Our pick for which actress should play Shults in her (basically all but certain) forthcoming biopic? Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts, hands down.