The world’s first licensed armless pilot Jessica Cox who has been the source of inspiration for many people was felicitated today at Hotel Annapurna. The program with the title ‘Warm Welcome to Jessica Cox’ was conducted today with the collaboration of US AID, Handicap International and NFD-N (National Federation of Disabled, Nepal) along with the presence of various handicap personnel, media and guests.
The program started with a video clip showcasing Cox’s childhood, her family, her struggle and especially her pilot training experience. Cox shared her experience and capability as an armless lady to all the individuals present at the program. Besides, other handicap intellectuals gave their opinion on disability and interacted with Cox on various topics.
Jessica Cox is Ambassador for Handicap International Goodwill and she is on her visit to Nepal especially to contribute and create awareness on disability and also to exercise her ideas on field level realities. She has travelled to many countries since 2012 supporting the Handicap International campaigns, missions and events entitled as ‘Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities’.
Knowing Jessica Cox
Disability doesn’t mean inability. Jessica Cox who exercised ability in disability is today the Guinness World Record holder for being the first woman to fly an airplane with her feet. Moreover, she is a passionate motivational speaker. Since stepping in this world without arms in 1983, Jessica has struggled and learnt to live and enjoy her life with feet. She was born in Sierra Vista, Arizona. As a child, she wore prosthetic limbs but abandoned it after she felt too difficult with it.
Despite the fact that Cox was armless, her parents were confident of her potential and with the support from parents she became confident on herself as an adult and continued to explore the world with feet.
Her piloting career initiated in 2005 when she met a pilot at a program who asked her if she could enjoy flying. Her parents were worried about flying but it was emotional challenge and ultimate form of independence for Cox. She flew in a single engine airplane for the first time via Wright Flight in 2005. Cox earned her pilot’s certificate on October 10, 2008, after three years of training, and is qualified to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet. She received her flight training through an Able Flight scholarship and soloed under the instruction of Parrish Traweek.
Cox performed her solo flight on May 11, 2008 with ERCO Ercoupe which is a low-wing monoplane aircraft that was designed and built in the United States. She could not make a landing at first attempt but made the second landing appreciable like a perfectionist. This is when Cox became the first armless woman to fly plane to hold Guinness World Records.
Her piloting career could have been disturbed due to her mother being affected by cancer however; her mother encouraged not to quit trainings. In 2009, Jessica Cox flew an aircraft with her mother on board which made her mother amazed all the way.
Jessica has achieved more using just her feet than most other people dare to aspire to. It is surprising to know that Jessica is a black belt in Taekwondo. She got married to Mr. Partrick Chamberlain(her Taekwondo Tutor) in May 12, 2012.
The experience of meeting Jessica in person will touch every listener, every time. As a person who has never viewed herself as a victim of her condition, Jessica shares in her speeches humorous stories of struggle and success living in a “two-handed” world. She provides critical insight on how best to approach a challenge, redefining the concept of innovative thinking. She helps people reconnect with their own inner strength and aptitude.