Senator Tom Harkin (retired) and Jessica Cox, the world’s first and only pilot without arms celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 24, 2020, with a special flight in Jessica’s custom Ercoupe. Jessica is a lifelong disability rights advocate, motivational speaker and Goodwill Ambassador for Humanity & Inclusion. A roundup of coverage of the flight is available below.
- Jessica Cox might have followed the same checklist other pilots run through before they get in the cockpit as she geared up for a flight at Frederick Municipal Airport, but she did it a little differently. She unscrewed the fuel cap with her feet. She lifted the engine door with her leg and then let it rest on her head to check the machinery. The Frederick News-Post
- “Since day one, everyone I think who doesn’t know me personally may have had doubts about what is possible for someone without arms, so I’ve had to live that life from the beginning.” Local DVM
- “It was a great day,” said Harkin. “One of the best of my career.” Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
- Of the various ADA anniversary events Harkin joined this week, he said the most fun was a plane ride Friday with the first armless pilot, Jessica Cox, at the controls. Omaha World Herald