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The following is an article taken from the Observer-Dispatch, Utica, NY by Joe Kelly.

Ted Kibiuk has inspired me. When you hear about his dream, maybe he'll inspire you, too.

Kibiuk is 69 now, retired and living in Holland Patent, NY. He flew B-17s in World War II and got shot down over France on his first bombing mission. He and his crew bailed. They were lucky enough to get picked up by the U.S. Army.

During the Korean War, Kibiuk flew C-47s hauling cargo instead of bombs. This time he didn't get shot down.

But his dream goes back to well before his military career: "Since I was 12 years old, I wanted to build an airplane."

He said that as we stood in a hangar at Oneida County Airport. We were looking at his dream. She is white and made of fiberglass, and measures 17 feet from nose to tail and 17 feet from wingtip to wingtip. She cruises at 100 mph and holds eight gallons of gas - enough to stay in the air for eight hours.

She only weighs 300 pounds. When Kibiuk wants to take her outside the hangar, he picks up the airplanes tail and pushes the plane out. Kibiuk touched the wing and said, "This is a tribute to my wife."

Before she died, his wife, Georgette Helen, made Kibiuk promise to build his airplane - made him promise to make good on his dream.

The first thing Kibiuk - who had a quadruple bypass operation in 1980 - had to do was get himself in shape to pass a FAA physical. It wouldn't make much sense to build an airplane only to find out he couldn't pass the pilot medical examination. He started a walking program; which did the trick.

Then he had to get his flying skills back, which he did by taking lessons.

And then he decided which aircraft to build. He picked an airplane called a Quickie. Building it was anything but. It took 9 years.

Kibiuk and his friend, the late Dick Noyes of Sherrill, worked on it a couple days a week. "I give him a lot of the credit," Kibiuk said. "He was extremely knowledgeable and helpful."

Noyes, who was 86, died a year ago. He didn't get the chance to see the plane fly. Kibiuk names a long list of area mechanics, pilots, and friends. "They all helped me," he said. "I owe so many people so much."

Three months ago, the FAA gave Kibiuk an airworthiness certificate. "That means I can fly it anywhere in the United States."

So far he hasn't ventured outside Oneida County. He is still building his confidence in the plane. He has made a 131 landings and logged 48 hours in the air. "It's a beautiful plane to fly, " he said. As his confidence in the plane builds, he will expand his horizons and take longer flights.

As I said, Ted Kibiuk has inspired me. If he can fulfill his dream after all these years, maybe there's still hope for the rest of us.

The following is a composite of two letters sent in by Ted Kibiuk.

Jim and Tom

My experimental N12726 has 55 hours and 140 landings. I continue to upgrade it where possible. I would like some opinions and advice in regards to a flight problem I'm encountering.

I changed props two times from original of 27 degrees pitch to 29 degrees pitch to 30 degrees pitch. From the 27 degrees to the 29 degrees prop I became left wing heavy. This was corrected by raising up the right elevator one turn on the turnbuckle adjustment. Problem cleaned up!

Left wing heavy again when I went to the 30-degree prop. Made another one turn adjustment on the right elevator. Problem again seems to have cleared up (2:12 flight test time).

However, I believe I'm flying now in a yawed position as my airspeed has not proportionally increased.

Is there anyone out there, able to give me some advice.

With the 30 degree pitch prop, my static is 3400. On take off it winds up to 3600 or max for the engine, which is what I wanted. If I can now get the speed up, by some other method of taking the left heavy wing load off, other than using the right elevator, this would be great.

Because of my lapsed pilot's license, and before getting checked out again, I did extensive taxi tests and wore the inner edge of the tires out. Then I reversed and am wearing out the opposite edge now. I was able to get another set of tires, thru QTALK.

I gross at 500 lbs fully loaded with oil and 7.66 gallons of fuel and me (160 lbs). During my first successful flight of one hour and 12 minutes (in the pattern) I landed just four times, but made about 10-12 approaches. I also lost about five pounds of body weight in pure sweat. It was extremely nose heavy. When I cut the throttle I went into a spiral dive, coming over the fence at 120. The second approach I got it back to 110, then 100 and then at 90 I slowed it down further. She takes off neat.

The heavy stick force was caused by the trim tab spring. I was fighting the spring not the air forces of the wing. The spring accidentally became disconnected in flight. I then experienced hands off flying. I put in a much lighter trim tab spring up front.

I've flown "The Panther" at 10-degree temperatures and the left manifold heater worked beautifully, was not cold at all. In the test flying that I do, I burn 1.1 gallons of fuel per hour of flight time. I cruise approximately 95-105 mph. She handles very nice, very responsive. Was up to 3300' practicing the pitch bucking stalls! Handles so easy when stalled. //////-->

I want to see how high I can fly it one of these days. The highest I've flown has been 3300'. I want to see what the ultimate ceiling is for me.

My dual independently operated brakes work beautifully and I used a lot when on cross wind landings. She tends to weather vane so easily and QUICKLY.

A while back I put in synthetic oil. Worst thing I did, as it seeped thru all the gaskets and bolt hole spaces. Had to reseal the seals and bolts with a Permatex and epoxy mix. I still get that oil seepage from some unknown place, but it's minuscule. I add a 1/2-cup of oil now and then, or between oil changes. It's too much of a bother to take the engine off the firewall and locate the exact spot of leakage. My oil pressure had dropped to below book specs. After inquiries, I added one thin walled washer beneath the bolt and to the top of the spring under the bolt. This put more oil pressure on the spring and then onto the oil sealing ball bearing in the line. My pressure is now normal again.

I use a sporty A300 radio, rewired so that I can patch it in directly to the aircraft 12-14.8 volt battery for unlimited radio battery life, it's also beefed up from 9 volts to 11.6 volts for transmission ability.

I'm small, white and quiet, no one can see or hear me, this includes the tower operators. Because of this "invisibility" I really am a hazard in the air to all others. The responsibility rests on me alone to be clear of all other a/c, at all times. I put on my tiny strobe light switch now prior to all flights, as a possible assist for others to spot me.

Erin, from Hawaii, contacted me three times by mail for assistance to build the LS-1 canard. I suggested he see if the C-F spar is yet available. If he could get it, then I'd look for all the needed templates. Since I've not heard from him, I guess he had no luck in getting the spar.

The two builders from Italy also paid me a nice visit a while ago. Have not heard from them since they left.

My "Tiger-Cat" has really been working and could use a new paint job. But I'll continue to wring it out and build up more time.

Griffin Radar Approach Control has difficulty in spotting me. So again, I'm really a good stealth a/c. As with others, I read all the QTALK soon as it arrives. Please continue to hold the group together. My special thanks to Charles Lipke and Terry Crouch; they both helped me lots!

Ted Kibiuk #508, Holland Patent, NY

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