Tucson, Ariz. resident Jessica Cox plays piano, surfs, writes in cursive, does tae kwon do, and flies a plane, all with her feet.
“I was born with no arms, so I learned to use my feet as my hands,” said Jessica.
For her, learning to fly did not have a smooth takeoff.
“My greatest fear was flying in an airplane. My dad, who’s been an aviation enthusiast his whole life, jumped in for me and said ‘She would love to!'” said Jessica.
It took Jessica three years just to find a plane to fit her needs. She needed a plane with no pedals, and space for her to lean back in the cockpit to steer with her feet. Countless hours of flying training later, Jessica went up for her first solo flight.
“That was the most incredible moment,” said Jessica. “For the first moment I was flying this airplane by myself without anyone and it was empowering, it was freeing to be up there.”
“She can really light up that room, inspire people to think of themselves in a different light and challenge what they think is possible,” said Patrick Chamberlin, Jessica’s husband.
After becoming the first armless pilot in aviation history, Jessica took her story and began sharing it around the country as a motivational speaker, advocating for people with disabilities.
“A mantra that I often times love to look at is “If you believe you can do something you’re able to accomplish it regardless of whatever it is that’s holding you back,” said Jessica.
You can learn more about her through her book ‘Disarm Your Limits’ or look up because she might be flying overhead.