In the book "Military Fly Moms" by Linda Maloney, Shults discusses her persistence in the face of gender bias and discrimination, reports The Washington Post.
Shults recalls being the only girl at an aviation lecture in high school when a retired colonel asked her if she was lost. "I mustered up the courage to assure him I was not and that I was interested in flying," she writes. "He allowed me to stay but assured me there were no professional women pilots."
But that didn't hinder Shults from trying to break into the club. When she met a woman in college who had been admitted to the Air Force, Shults made it her mission to do the same. However, the Air Force denied her entrance, according to the book.
Shults was "finally" accepted into the Navy, one year after taking its aviation exam and when she found a recruiter who was willing to process her application. Still, "there did not seem to be a demand for women pilots," she writes.
After serving for 10 years in the Navy, where she met her husband and fellow pilot Dean, Shults joined Southwest Airlines as a pilot.
Although her skilled landing has attracted heavy media attention, her aeronautical expertise comes as no surprise to her family and friends, including her brother-in-law Gary Shults.
"She's a formidable woman, as sharp as a tack," he told the Associated Press. "My brother says she's the best pilot he knows."
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