Jessica Cox - Armless pilot uses feet to fly . . .


After her successful solo flight last May, Jessica Cox proved the sky is no limit when she earned her Sport Pilot license flying an Ercoupe plane with only her feet. Jessica was born without arms 25 years ago.

On October 10, FAA examiner Terry Brandt gave Jessica the thumbs-up on her check ride at the San Manuel Airport, just outside Tucson. “I showed him my best. After we got up in the air, the wind shifted and we hit some turbulence, but I flew through it just fine,” Said Jessica.

When Jessica did a particularly good job on a short field landing, the examiner complimented her, saying, “Nice Landing.”

Greeted with hugs from her Parents William and Inez Cox, and enthusiastic spectators as well as another FAA examiner, Jessica beamed, “I gave my best performance ever!”

News Video



Unbelieveable! 8)


Talk about perserverance. Great story.


Wow! That’s impressive…

Does the Ercoupe not have a rudder??


Ummm, think “no arms” :stuck_out_tongue:

Every airplane has a rudder.


From the news video it looks like she has one foot on the throttle and one on the yoke. I’m curious as to how she controls the rudder pedals.


Hmm, don’t have access to the video at work, but maybe the plane’s rigging is similar (or modified) like a Sundowner and the rudders and aileron are “interconnected” with a spring so she can use the yoke for coordinated flight?

That would work with in flight, but she would still need rudder pedals for steering on the ground. I don’t know of any plane that does not steer by rudder pedals for ground ops???


“Lacking rudder pedals, the Ercoupe was flown entirely using only a control wheel: a two-control system linked the rudder and aileron systems, which controlled yaw and roll, with the steerable nose wheel.”

Sounds like the “control wheel” steers the nose wheel for ground ops as well.


Correct gentlemen, the Ercoupe has no rudder pedals, everything is controlled by the wheel and yoke.

Not to make light of her accomplishment, but she received an LSA license, not her PPL.


Got to luv learning!

Are there any other types of planes rigged where the control wheel steers the plane on the ground?


Not that I’m aware of. But while my experience is long, it’s not very deep! :wink:


The airplane has interconnected rudder and ailerons. its prob the only airplane you’ll ever see with no rudder peddles


I guess I should read on before I jump in mid stream- sorry ya’ll


Forgot to mention the various types of “auto/planes” that show up now and again and obviously had steerable roadwheels.

Waterman Aerobile:

Taylor Aerocar III:

There are many others, although most are failures as either aircraft or cars.