CubCrafters’ Jim Richmond Passes

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The man who started with the simple idea of refurbishing Piper Cubs and turned that into the immensely successful company building all-new, better-than-the-original utility aircraft has passed. CubCrafters’ Jim Richmond “passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 21st, 2021 surrounded by loving family at his home in Yakima, Washington,” according to the company. “He will be missed greatly by family, friends, customers, and coworkers alike.”

Richmond began the company in 1980 after seeing the “possibilities in modernizing the iconic Piper Super Cub with current design and manufacturing techniques for better performance and safety. In the four decades since he founded the company, CubCrafters has manufactured a fleet of around 1500 new aircraft, and rebuilt or restored countless others for customers all over the world.” According to CubCrafters, “The team that Jim built in the rural Washington State community of Yakima developed seven different models of aircraft over the years, both certified and experimental, along with dozens of STCs and many other advancements to benefit the General Aviation community. The most recent aircraft added to his legacy is the nosewheel equipped XCub, an airplane that allows true backcountry access to a wider range of pilots than ever before.”

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.”

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KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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