The Story of Jessica Cox

An inspirational story about the pilot, Jessica Cox, who achieved what was thought to be impossible. She was able to fly and earn her licence despite being born without arms. Even though she had her fair share of constant disappointments and difficult times, she was able to fight through and fulfil her dream.

Jessica Cox was born without arms due to a rare birth defect. But so what? that meant nothing. So she’s born a little different, we’re all born a little different. Jessica Cox, like all of us, had a goal to accomplish.  She learned how to fly, an unmodified airplane, using her feet and therefore became the world’s first ever armless pilot.


Jessica’s parents wanted their daughter to have a normal life, hence they constantly put her in a regular environment as much as possible, like a public school instead of a private or a special need school. She would attend never thinking she was different because she was able to do everything other children would do. With the exception of recess, where everyone would become overprotective of her, then she’d feel limited. Sitting on the swings, Jessica started to dream about flying.


It took everything in me to become a pilot,” Jessica said.

After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in psychology and communication, Jessica Cox made the decision to learn to fly and overcome her fear of flying. After 3 years of hard work and dedication, she earned her pilot license and became the first woman to fly an aircraft with her feet.

Photos By Matt Corbisiero

Her family helped her through, they raised her making sure she was never sheltered because of her disability. They filled her time with hobbies and activities any child can do. She’s not special, she can do everything she sets her mind to.

Raising her to be the amazing woman she is today, teaching us that with time and perseverance anything is possible. Now, Jessica Cox is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a light sport aircraft Ercoupe.

She always says “If I can fly an airplane with my feet, what is it that you can do?”


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