Jessica Cox, an Arizona woman, has become the first licensed pilot without arms after she learned to fly a plane with her feet.
The 36-year-old from Phoenix was born with a rare condition that caused her to not develop her upper limbs in the womb, but she has never allowed that to stop her from living a full life.
Jessica pretty much does many activities like a person with both arms would. She is a black belt holder in taekwondo, she plays the piano, drives a car and is a certified scuba diver. At the top of her achievements, however, is that she is the first licensed pilot without arms.
Jessica said many see her not having arms as a limiting factor, but she is here to prove them all wrong and she hopes to inspire others with disabilities by showing they too can accomplish anything.
Jessica’s journey to becoming a pilot started when a fighter-jet pilot approached her and asked if she would want to become one.
“The pilot brought me to the front of the plane. The plane has dual controls. He took his hands off of the control and let me do the flying. Even if something is scary to you, it’s important that we face it.” She told CNN.
After she graduated with a degree in psychology and a minor in communications from the University of Arizona in 2005, Jessica decided she wanted to train to become a pilot.
“There were a lot of questions. There were a lot of concerns. There were a lot of doubters on whether this was possible.” Jessica said.
She got her license in October 2008 after she training for three years and was deemed fit to fly light-sport aircraft at 10,000 feet.
Jessica’s determined spirit also saw her finish the 40-mile long El Tour de Tuscon and author a self-help book, Disarm Your Limits, an autobiographical account of her life in 2015.
Cox hopes she can become an inspiration to many and encourage them to face their fears. “Because I live my life the way I do, it has this tremendous impact on other people. I’ve had role models and leaders. And because I’ve had that, now it’s my responsibility to be the same for the next generation.” she told CNN.
Jessica Cox is an incredibly strong and inspiring woman.
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