Jessica Cox, who hails from Tuscan, Arizona, was born without any arm due to a rare birth defect. The reason behind her disability is not known yet but what is known is that no arms didn’t deter this lady from marking her name in the history of mankind. Jessica is a licensed pilot today and she flies the aircrafts using her feet.
Most of us would just cuddle on our beds or at the max try to walk around and do something useless here and there if we had no arms, but this lady can practically do everything a normal person with arms can. She can brush her hair, wear her clothes, write, drive a car, use her phone etc by just using her feet. All this is still not a very remarkable feat, but becoming a pilot is inevitably an outstanding achievement for a disabled person. In fact, Jessica is the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet. She achieved this at the age of 25 only.
This talented woman without arms used one foot to man the controls and the other foot to guide the steering column. She was certified as a Sport Pilot that qualifies her to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet. Jessica recalls she was always scared of flying. She was scared of even going on the swings and monkey bars due to her disability. You can imagine her plight when she used to travel in an airplane. She says, “I’ve been terrified and fascinated of flying for as long as I can remember.”
“I realized that if I could fly the plane with my own feet, then I am Pilot In Command of my whole life.” —Jessica Cox
Fortunately, in 2005, she was given a chance to fly an aircraft. A fighter pilot who represents the charity Wright Flight offered her if she wanted to fly an aircraft. Jessica obviously thought that the man was nuts but he insisted and coaxed her into learning to fly. In a few days time, Jessica was flying the rudderless light Ercoupe aircraft which only needs hands to control it rather than both hands and feet.
This woman without arms was determined and she learnt to fly this aircraft in three years. Though the normal time taken to learn to fly an aircraft is six months, she took a little longer owing to her disability but it is commendable that she finally nailed it.
Jessica now runs PC Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Services and has imparted training to many pilots. She is such an inspiring woman that nobody can make out that she is disabled if they didn’t check her out properly. She looks and acts like any normal person. She doesn’t even use prosthetic arms since the age of 14. She felt that those prosthetic arms handicapped her. This wonder woman is doing so well without them that they better not came in her way.
Besides being a licensed pilot, she is a former dancer as well as a double blackbelt in TaeKwonDo. She keeps herself active with walking and swimming and feels that it is important to maintain strength and flexibility in her legs because she uses them more than any normal person does.
I hope this story of Jessica must have inspired all of you reading this. So gear up guys, nothing can stop you from achieving what you want to in your life. The only abilities you need to succeed are determination and courage to go against the odds and turn every negative comment or situation into a positive one.
“There are so many ways that disabilities can make people believe that they ‘can’t’ achieve their dreams,” she was quoted in Telegraph. “But I’m evidence that you can.”