Avenger of the Week | Tammie Jo Shults, Southwest Pilot

You had to know we were going to feature Captain Tammie Jo Shults this week, right?

Tammie Jo Shults

In case you were on a tropical island with no internet access, Shults is an airline pilot who successfully landed a plane earlier this week after one engine exploded and left a gaping hole in the side of the aircraft. But it turns out that Tammie Jo Shults is no stranger to heroics. While growing up near an Air Force base in New Mexico, Shults dreamed of becoming a pilot. After she graduated college, the Air Force did not allow her to test in because she was a woman, so she had to wait for the Navy to allow her to do so. Shults persevered and went on to become one of the first female fighter pilots in the Navy’s history and the first woman to fly F-18s, and she retired with a rank of lieutenant commander.

Here at GenderAvenger, we are in awe of Captain Shults’s accomplishments, but there is something else about her story that stood out to us. Early on in the news cycle an AP/CBS article incorrectly referred to the pilot as “he”:

Bourman said that everyone started yelling to brace for impact when the plane started to land. Everyone clapped and praised the pilot after he set the aircraft down.

Note to reporters, women can fly planes, too. You know what they say happens when you assume…

Hey @CBSNews and @AP, the heroic pilot who “set the aircraft down” this week is a woman. SHE set it down, not HE, and WE honor her courage. #genderavenger #avengeroftheweek #TammieJoShults https://www.genderavenger.com/blog/avenger-of-the-week-tammie-jo-shults