CubCrafters Founder Jim Richmond Dies

Richmond established his popular backcountry aircraft series in 1980.

Jim Richmond, the founder of CubCrafters—the popular backcountry aircraft series—has gone West. 

Richmond, 67, died on November 21 at his home in Yakima, Washington. He was surrounded by his family. 

Richmond founded CubCrafters in 1980 after a trip to Alaska where he saw how much the Piper Super Cub was used for backcountry operations. An engineer as well as a skilled A&P mechanic, Richmond sought ways to improve on the iconic design through modifications and refinements. It was his mission to take modern materials and manufacturing techniques to create an airplane that was safer and more efficient than its iconic predecessor.

According to a statement from CubCrafters, the company has built more than 1,500 new aircraft while simultaneously rebuilding and restoring aircraft for customers around the world.

Although retired from day-to-day management of CubCrafters, Richmond continued to be active in managing the strategic and creative direction of the company until his death. 

“CubCrafters is truly a family. Our employees, customers, and affiliates all feel Jim’s loss,” said Pat Horgan, current company president and CEO. “In everything we do moving forward, Jim will be with us. It was his stated intention that CubCrafters would continue as the market leader in the design and manufacture of the best backcountry aircraft in the world. 

“Both Jim’s family and the CubCrafters leadership team are fully committed to continue growing the aviation legacy that Jim started.”

A memorial service to celebrate Jim Richmond’s life is scheduled for December 4 at the CubCrafters Factory in Yakima, Washington. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Idaho Aviation Foundation.

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