July 5th Layaabka Who says that flying an aircraft is exlusively for those who have complete arms? Frankly speaking, I am as guilty as you do. But this belief is no longer true today because Jessica Cox came into the picture. Yes, Jessica Cox, born without arms can fly an aircraft using her feet alone. Jessica does the impossible feats…
Who is Jessica Cox? Jessica is a Filipino American born to an American father and a Filipina mother.
Today, Jessica Cox is now considered to be one of the most talented pilots to ever fly an aircraft. Ms Cox from Tucson, Arizona got the Sport Pilot certificate lately and became the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet in the world. It’s an exceptional achievement for a girl whose mother said that the “CAN’T” word is not in her vocabulary.
Jessica Cox, 25 years of age, uses her one foot in manning the controls and the other delicately guiding the steering column, enough for her to soar into the heights of rare achievements by receiving a Sport Pilot certificate. This certificate would mean that she is now qualified to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet.
Jessica’s instructor Parrish Traweek, 42, said that she is a rock solid and good pilot. Mr. Traweek, is one of the flying instructors at San Manuel’s Ray Blair Airport. Also, Mr. Traweek runs PC Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Services and has trained many pilots. “Many of my students are good, but their abilities didn’t come close to Cox’s abilities,” Mr. Traweek added with confidence. “When she came up here driving a car,” Traweek recalled, “I knew she’d have no problem flying a plane.”
Jessica Cox is indeed a rare specie, if I may say so because flying an aircraft is just of one her numerous skills. Jessica decided not to use prosthetic devices, a move that helped her to be who she is today: A licensed pilot to fly airplanes on October 10, 2008; black belter in Tae Kwan-Do; a college degree holder in Psychology; a motivational speaker; and most of all, she’s without arms. And maybe, if God offer her to have an arms, she will not accept it. Why? Because when she does, dare I said it, and will say it again, she will not be the person she is right now.
Based on Jessica’s clinical records, she suffered a bilateral congenital limb deficiency. But this does not caused her to be disabled, instead, it helped her to be an extraordinary achiever by surpassing her seemingly impossible goals.
The only thing she wanted to do but can’t without her mom’s assistance is putting a ponytail on her hair because from birth on, her feet became her hands. And would you believe it? Jessica can drive a car and can type 25 words per minute aside from her latest gained talent which is flying an airplane using her feet, without any special adaptations.
Jessica earned her Sport Pilot certificate after training with Able Flight, a North Carolina flight training company that focuses and specializes in helping people with disabilities but willing to learn to fly. Jessica Cox is an Able Flight scholarship and was able to train with the ever patient instructor Parrish Traweek without a fee. Yes, free of charge.
Jessica Cox is indeed an inspiration to many who are seemingly helpless with their physical disabilities. “I highly encourage people with disabilities to consider flying,” Jessica said. “It helps reverse the stereotype that people with disabilities are powerless into the belief that they are powerful and capable of setting high goals and achieving them.” Jessica added.
As of this writing, Jessica Cox, a pilot without arms, is now in her mother’s native country, the Philippines. She will stay their for two weeks to attend numerous speaking engagements and to inspire Filipinos, who, mostly are suffering from hopelessness caused by the devastating typhoons last 2009.