93-Year-Old Logs 1,000th Hour

Long-time aviation enthusiast completes lifetime goal.

Ike Kobbe

Ike Kobbe

Ike Kibbe

Ike Kibbe, a 93-year-old aviation enthusiast, completed his 1,000th hour of flying this weekend, fulfilling a personal dream and illustrating how the love of flying so often endures despite the passage of time.

Kibbe first began flying in 1940, at the age of 22. He carried his passion for aviation with him throughout his lifetime, flying with an instructor during his later years when he was no longer medically certified and volunteering at the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, in his 80s.

According to those close to him, Kibbe is usually “a quiet, amicable fellow,” but can become “quite garrulous” when it comes to talking about airplanes.

Kibbe moved to Maryland in February 2010 and, with the help of his grandson, who is also a private pilot, found an instructor as enthusiastic about flying as himself who was more than willing to serve as his copilot and navigator.

With 965 hours under his belt, Kibbe set a goal to reach the 1,000th within his lifetime, and began frequent flights to reach the milestone.

Those efforts culminated in one special flight last Saturday, when Kibbe took off from Martin State Airport in a Cessna 172 and landed at the Piper Memorial Airport, where he was met by family and friends who came to celebrate his arrival.