Being born without arms didn't keep Jessica Cox of Tucson, AZ from meeting the challenge of earning a Sport Pilot certificate. The Able Flight Scholarship winner passed her checkride Friday October 10th after several months of training with instructor Parrish Traweek in his Ercoupe 415C. With its unique control system, the Ercoupe proved to be the right airplane for her to fly using only her feet (she does not use prosthetic arms).
Jessica's path to becoming the first person born without arms to be certified as a pilot began in Florida when Glen Davis provided her first hours of instruction in his Ercoupe. But since his was not an LSA version, she would have to wait until a suitable LSA model could be located. Enter Parrish Traweek of PC Aircraft Maintenance/Flight Services in the little town of San Manuel to the north of Tucson.
Of her experience in becoming a pilot, Jessica said, "I highly encourage people with disabilities to consider flying. It not only empowers you but also helps others realize that people with disabilities are adept at attaining privileges that a small percentage of society takes part in. 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. What is most incredible about Able Flight is the relentless faith and support not only from the board but also from the other pilots who have succeeded in the program. The camaraderie is exceptional. Thank you Able Flight for helping me make history as the first licensed pilot to fly with only her feet!" To learn more about Jessica, visit http://www.rightfooted.com/.