A woman from Arizona has defied all odds to become the first licensed pilot in the US to fly a plane without arms. The 36-year-old Jessica Cox, who suffered from a rare condition and was born without arms, has learned to fly using her feet. However, flying is just one of her many accomplishments.
From playing the piano, driving a car, being a certified scuba diver and even a third-degree black belt in taekwondo, Cox aims to motivate differently abled people and has travelled to more than 20 countries as a motivational speaker, CNN reported.
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“I often think about if I could go back and change my life so that I was born with arms — first of all, my life would be completely different, and one of the things that I see is so powerful is 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 the news website.
Though Cox was initially scared of flying, she soon overcame her fear and focused on getting her licence. After completing her graduation from the University of Arizona in 2005, she began her training to become a pilot. “I had numerous flight instructors and contributors to my training to figure this out,” Cox told the media house. “So, it was a three-year process to figure out through trial and error what would work.”
While many doubted her, Cox was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a light sport aircraft Ercoupe in 2008.