World's first licensed armless pilot an inspiration to many

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- An Arizona native is achieving what many would consider impossible. Jessica Cox, who was born with no arms, is the world's first licensed armless pilot and has been flying for 11 years.

Cox is fearless and limitless, and besides being a pilot, she is also a motivational speaker, going around the world sharing her story, and encouraging others to turn negativity into fuel to go after their dreams.

Growing up, Cox never let having no arms get in the way in pursuing her dreams.

"My whole life, people have told me you can't do things because you don't have arms, but in my mind, I always took that as a challenge to say to them 'watch me. I'll do it'," said Cox.

Cox embraces what makes her different, using her feet to perform everyday tasks, and doesn't let any obstacles get in her way, not even her fears.

"My fear was losing contact with the ground, flying, so why not conquer the fear by just facing it head on and doing it?' said Cox.

Cox attended flight school and earned her pilot's certificate in 2008, making her world's first licensed armless pilot.

"It's very special to have that title, but also to pave the way so many other people who ever doubted what they can do,"

Cox is qualified to fly a light sport aircraft, the only airplane built to be flown with two limbs. However, becoming a pilot wasn't easy.

"I had to go through a lot of different challenges to figure out what airplane would work, what type of control panel would work, what type of certification would work as a pilot," said Cox.

Her story is an inspiration for many.

"As a speaker, I have to be that example to other people to let them know that there are things in our life that we can either back away from and give up on and be afraid of," said Cox.

For Cox, there is no better feeling than flying.

"There's nothing more free and powering, and for me, a sense of independence as being in an airplane by yourself, flying that plane," said Cox.

Jessica Cox