James Richmond, CubCrafters Founder, Dies At Age 67


Jim Richmond, who founded CubCrafters in 1980, passed away peacefully at age 67 on Sunday (Nov. 21) surrounded by his family at his home in Yakima, Washington. Current President and CEO of CubCrafters Pat Horgan said, “Our employees, customers, and affiliates all feel Jim’s loss. 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.”

While the word “visionary” is usually reserved for those with a futuristic view, Richmond will be remembered, rather, for his look back at the classic value of the Piper Super Cub and for his vision in capturing its substantive value—and transforming that substance with 21st century materials and manufacturing techniques to improve performance, efficiency, and safety. In a heartfelt statement, the company wrote, “Jim Richmond and the company he founded are names that are synonymous with new innovation in backcountry aviation.”

Since its founding four decades ago, CubCrafters has manufactured some 1,500 new aircraft, while rebuilding or restoring “countless others” for grateful customers around the globe. CubCrafters has brought seven different models into production—certified and experimental—while simultaneously developing dozens of supplemental type certificates and nurturing other performance enhancements “to benefit the General Aviation community,” according to the company announcement, which added, “The most recent aircraft added to [Richmond’s] legacy is the nosewheel-equipped XCub, an airplane that allows true backcountry access to a wider range of pilots than ever before.”

The statement concludes: “A memorial service to celebrate Jim Richmond’s life is scheduled for the afternoon of December 4th at the CubCrafters Factory in Yakima, Washington, with details to follow. The family suggests donations to the Idaho Aviation Foundation (idahoaviationfoundation.org/) in his name, in lieu of flowers.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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