Armless Tucson pilot takes Upward Bound student on first flight

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A Tucson woman loves to fly, but she does it with her feet.   Friday she took two young women for the ride of their life.

Sarah Soto is going on her first ever airplane ride.  The recent high school grad is in a program called Upward Bound which reaches out to underprivileged youth.

Her pilot is Jessica Cox.

"I am kind of excited, I have never been in a plane.  Going up that high kind of scares me just a little bit but not that much," said Soto.

Here's the catch on this first flight for Soto, Cox is not an ordinary pilot.

Jessica was born without arms and learned to fly to conquer a fear.

"I figured if i created this fear of flying then I could also be the person to over come the fear and sure enough getting my pilot's certification I over came my fear.

After years of flight instruction from Parrish Traweek at the San Manuel airport.

Cox received her license and it may have been one of the best days of her life.

"You look to your right and you don't see anyone in the airplane and you realize that you're certified to fly an airplane by yourself and its surreal.  It's empowering and it's, for me, the ultimate form of independence," said Cox.

Jessica is now empowering others through motivational speaking around the country and the world, showing folks that the impossible is possible.

"Sure a lot of us we have our own challenges.  It may be a physical challenge, an emotional challenge, psychological challenge, but we also have the choice  whether we allow our challenges to stop us or pull us forward," said Cox.

Soto's challenge was getting that first flight under belt.  Mission accomplished.

"It felt amazing actually.  I was telling Jessica that now I know how birds feel when they're up there flying," said Soto.

Jessica says, the best part about flights like today is seeing the smiles on her passengers' face.

This past March Jessica received a Guinness World Record medal for being the only pilot to fly a plane with her feet.

Cox also holds a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do and is a Flowing Wells and U of A grad.