SUN LAKES SPLASH
November 1, 2009
By Gary Vacin
SLAC Publicity Director
Jessica Cox, the first armless woman to receive a pilot’s license, will be the featured speaker at the Sun Lakes Aero Club (SLAC) meeting Monday, November 16th at the Sun Lakes Country Club in Phase 1. The meeting is held in the Mirror room which is to the left of the recreation desk and begins with a social hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by Cox’s presentation at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend this meeting. There is no charge for attending.
“We are extremely pleased that Jessica Cox will speak at our November meeting,” said Bob Walch, SLAC president. “It will be her first appearance in the Valley since she received her pilot’s license.” Cox is a professional motivational speaker who has made more than 200 presentations through the nation and around the world.
The daughter of an American music teacher and a Filipino
nurse, Jessica was born without arms.
But that hasn’t stopped her from doing with her feet most things people
do with their hands. She can drive a
car, type 30 words per minute, swim, scuba dive, and even change her contact
lenses. She earned a degree in
psychology from the
But it is her accomplishments in aviation that got our attention at SLAC.
We first learned of her in an on-line article on an aviation website almost a year ago. A phone call later, she had agreed to speak at one of our monthly meetings. A small organization, we have a limited budget and arrange for speakers on a pro bono basis. This was no barrier for Cox, whose obtained sponsorship from an anonymous source for her presentation to SLAC.
Interestingly, Cox had a lifetime fear of flying, a fact she
mentioned from the podium during a presentation to a Tucson Rotary Club. A
pilot in the audience offered to take her for a ride. She took him up on the offer, and on
That experience changed her life. “I set a goal right then and there that I was going to become a pilot”, she said.
She took a few lessons in the 172, but would be unable to solo the aircraft because of her physical limitations. It was impossible for her to manipulate the control yoke, rudder and throttle at the same time.
Only one aircraft would allow her to meet her new goal – an
Ercoupe 415C. This aircraft is
unique because it has no rudder pedals
and can be controlled by a single yoke. After a lengthy search, Cox located not
one but several 415Cs at the
Sitting cross-legged in the Ercoupe’s cockpit, she works the
throttle with her left foot and the control yoke with her right foot. She completed her first solo on
Now that she has her pilot’s license, her next goal is to become a certified flight instructor.
Additional information on Jessica Cox is available on her web site, www.rightfooted.com.
Formed in 1996, SLAC meets the third Monday of each month in the Mirror Room at the Sun Lakes Country Club October through May. Additional information is available by visiting the SLAC web site (http://sunlakesaeroclub.org or by calling Bob Walch, president at 895-8869 or Al Galvi, vice-president at 802-0104.
Born without arms, Jessica Cox earned a Sport Pilot
certificate in an
Ercoupe 415C. Sitting cross-legged, she works the throttle with
her left foot and works the yoke with her right foot. Cox will relate
her flying experiences during a presentation to the Sun Lakes Aero
Club on Monday, Nov. 16th
Photo by Glen Davis
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