Flying with My Own Two Feet

Smile of success! Jessica Cox

Flying with My Own Two Feet not only reveals the name of her book, it’s an actual feat for Jessica Cox. And on May 11, 2008, this speaker/author gave her mom an amazing Mother’s Day gift. She flew an Ercoupe sport plane solo in San Manuel, Arizona – with her feet! 

 Jessica tigthens fuel cap in her preflight inspection

Reaching this milestone is tough for anyone, but especially for this 25 year old born without arms. Her family and friends, myself included, watched her practice her touch-and-go’s (quick landing and takeoff) the day before, but her instructor said, “There’s no way I’d let you solo with all those people around! You wouldn’t be able to concentrate!”

Then, in her lesson about 6 a.m. the next morning with no crowds or cameras around, she did five touch-and-go’s in a row. “You’re ready,” said Parrish Traweek, her instructor and owner of the Ercoupe. After that came her first solo flight.

Jessica, author and pilot, with me  With me the day before Jessica soloed

Being been part of Jessica’s flying and writing dreams since 2005, I’ve seen her overcome logistical barriers too numerous to count. She’s now earned a sport pilot’s license and can happily tell the world, “Look, Ma. I’ve soloed!”

I’ll keep you posted on her book’s journey as we complete Flying with My Own Two Feet by Jessica Cox. 

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38 responses to “Flying with My Own Two Feet

  1. Great job Jessica, everyone is real proud of you. The Ercoupe is a great little airplane to fly and have fun with. Keep up the good work.

    Have a great day!!!!!
    Bob Debs
    Ercoupe 3044G

  2. Congratulations on your solo!

    God bless,
    Wade ten Bensel
    JAARS Aviation

  3. Congratulations Jessica! By now I’m sure you know how proud the world of aviators are of your accomplishment. You are truly the spirit and inspiration that makes flying so passionate to all of us who feel the need to fly.

    Stay focused but take a moment every now and then to just enjoy flying!

    Al Lockhart
    MSgt, USAF( Ret.) and Ultralight Pilot

  4. Hello, Perhaps a word about Alverna Williams of Grand Prairie, TX is in order. She lost her legs in an accident as a child but always dreamed of being a pilot. Around the middle of the last Century she earned her license after a 1&1/2 year battle with the Feds. http://www.amputee-coalition.org/inmotion/sep_oct_03/fly.html She’s a member of the wheelchair pilots assn. http://www.wheelchairaviators.org/about_us.html
    Thanks, MJR

  5. Jessica: I have been flying for 53 years all over the world, as fast as Mach 3 and to the edge of space; raced at Reno; performed before Kings; etc etc etc, but I have never seen courage and spirit as you have demonstrated. I am truly in awe. Godspeed in your flying…

  6. Awesome accomplishment Jessica !! Anything really is possible if you want it bad enough… I would fly with you anytime as a passenger. Best of luck !
    Paul Robichaud
    Beechcraft Sport 150 N6549R

  7. Jessica,

    Lucky you! You’ve soloed the Ercoupe one of my favorite airplanes. My first single engine airplane ride was in an Ercoupe at Sussex, NJ in 1969,I was only 14 at the time and the flying bug got the best of me.

    I started taking flying lessons at 15 thanks to my father footing the bill and soloed at 16 at Farmingdale, NY in a Cessna 150.

    But, I never did solo the Ercoupe, hich I think is one of the coolest looking airplanes around. That’s one thing I have on my “To Do” list, is to solo the Ercoupe!

    Thanks for the inspiration, Aim High and Fly Higher
    ( not my original saying, I copied that from Show Pilot Peggy Wagstaff)

    Steve

  8. respected Jesica,
    I may say you are the soul and inspiration of the aviation.
    we love you all.
    Happy landings.
    Adil Ellahi.

  9. I do not have words that can express .
    Just total awe. What a person you must be.
    you have truely set the aviation bar at the very high mark.
    pvt. pilot
    Zephyrhills, Fl.

  10. Truly a, “God is My Copilot”, account of courage.

  11. Happy landings forever, Jessica.
    Paul

  12. Vic Hollefreund

    Wow…fantastic…you are an amazing woman. You truly show that anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it!!!

  13. felicitaciones jessica y muy buenos vuelos, que orgullo sentira Richard Bach

  14. You really did a fantastic Job Jessica !!! I really admire you !!! I’m pilot, and I perfectly know what does flying really means. Hope this is the begining of a wonderful adventure wich its own limit is your imagination.
    And as Richard Bach wrote: “A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion….this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.”
    Good Fly Jessi !!!!!
    Daniel Arditi (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
    http://danidesdearriba.spaces.live.com/

  15. que lindo que es alcanzar un sueño AUNQUE PAREZCA IMPOSIBLE DE LOGRAR
    realmente te aplaudo , JESSI ¡¡¡¡¡¡

    ,felicitaciones
    desde MENDOZA ARGENTINA

  16. I went to your blog through PlasticPilot’s one.
    I’m so admirative!
    I wouldn’t have imagined one could fly without arms.

    Congratulations, and have fun in the sky.

    Pat, french private pilot.

  17. Well done Jessica, There are some people that try to learn to fly, Some people never quite get to finnish the coarse. You have shown a remarkable resolve.
    Congratulations and very well done. Keep flying.

    Graham Vaughan Snr PPL UK & USA

  18. Philip Toledano

    I cosider every pilot a special person.
    I consider you a remarcable special person.
    Be welcome Miss pilot.
    All the best to you !
    Philip

  19. Jesse, You are an inspiration to us all. I too, am a pilot and I know the challenges with both of my arms. Check one of my videos out as I also have helped someone with a wish:
    http://www.youtube.com/skybobb Search: His last wish an airplane ride.
    Again you are an inspiration to us all. God Bless You. Bob

  20. I AM SOOO PROUD OF YOU, JESSICA!

    I offered you my Ercoupe to train in but you lived too far away to accept.

    You a truly an inspiration to all of us, there is nothing better than a CAN DO attitude.

    GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY FLYING!

    Jack

  21. I am truly inspired by your tenacity,courage,intrinsic motivation and leadership by example… You are God’s example of living hope and faith that all things are possible…As an occupational therapist for 20 years and a private pilot for 14years; your life story is a reminder to me as to what life is truly all about. Over coming all odds and being at peace with ones self that you gave it all that you have to give while here on earth…

  22. Congratulations on your solo and check ride. Those of us who are pilots can (really)appreciate what you must have experienced in your presuite of becoming a pilot. Go for it girl!

  23. Joseph Gagliardi

    Jessica, I am a polio victim and have very little use of my legs, but I learned how to fly and and even flew a J3 Cub, my life long dream. But learning to fly without arms is huge an impossible task, which you have overcome with determination and motivation that many physically normal folks don’t have. You are an outstanding women and speaking to many people about your experiences and positve attitude about lift is God speaking through you. Congratulations, you are an inspiration to us all. God blessed you with a special gift.

  24. Congratulations and welcome to fold of all of us the certifiable pilots who love flying . You have demonstrated that there are no barriers where the heart is. I heard about you from a personal friend Glen Davis. When I purchased my Ercoupe from glen this past October. Best of luck and god be with you and yours.
    Rick

  25. John Bisscheroux

    I, too, would like to add my sincerest
    congratulations for your determination to overcome a serious physical restriction and solo an airplane.
    Way to go and, I hope, you’re going to enjoy flying for the rest of your life.

    A fellow pilot.

  26. Jessica,

    Congratulations! Keep on doing what your doing; inspiring people to focus on what they can do instead of what don’t. The world needs you special brand of grace . . .

    David Kruger
    The Aircraft Partnership Association

  27. Jessica,

    You have truly inspired the nation, im just a medical student going through my days with loads of complain, but your success has lifted my spirit.

    YOU GO GIRL!!

  28. Hi Jessica,

    What an awesome achievement ! I now truly believe that we can achieve anything we want if we want it bad enough !
    Way to go girl !

  29. how did you clear the FAA medical test???
    dont you face any difficulties coppying the clearences while flying the plane?

    • nonfictioneditor

      Jessica said that she didn’t have to clear the medical because, as a sport pilot, one’s driver’s license acts as a medical. She has had her driver’s license since age 16, passed without using special adaptations.

  30. Jessica, I’ve no much to say but you are such an amazing young girl performing what not many cannot believe until they see you on your Ercoupe!! Let only the sky be the limit.

    Well done all the best.

    Jumapili

  31. Stephen Insalaco

    Jessica;
    I am so inspired by your aviation accomplishments, that I have posted the complete Arizona Daily Star story on my cubicle wall here at Raytheon, with images of Harriet Quimby and Katherine Stinson. Everyone here asks me about the story. Your blue Eurcoupe has made its way up to Benson Municipal Airport on at least one occasion. A Mr. Tom Graziano sold a Eurcoupe airframe to a local individual about a year ago. I’m wondering if one of the aircraft down there at Ray Blair airport is that aircraft. I hope you keep gaining flight experience by building hours, and enjoy doing it. Having a Light Sport certificate, see if your instructor will provide you with a cross country endorsement.
    Many happy Landings,
    Stephen C.
    N714KU

  32. Jessica…you are truely an inspiration to every one. I wish you Blue Skies and tailwinds for eternity.

  33. you’re great you,re one in a billion!

  34. hi, its really great to see you fly in the sky and sky has no limit. happy landing
    jessica

  35. Philippe Bateman

    Truly for some people there are no limits; if ever there was someone who could be catagorized as a motivational speaker YOU are that person. If time (in your busy life) permits I would like tom correspond with you—If not—then may good fortune always be with you.

  36. thanks to you, life is more beautiful for all. I hope to have once the privilege to meet you !
    bernard old timer french pilot

  37. Dale - SailingFan

    Hi Jessie. Well done, You are a true inspiration. Dont know if you remember me, but we used to chat on-line years ago.

    Take Care and God Bless U Heaps My Friend.

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