CubCrafters Announces the Passing of Company Founder Jim Richmond

Jim Richmond, the founder of CubCrafters, passed away peacefully on Sunday at his home in Yakima, Washington. He was surrounded by loving family and will be missed greatly by family, friends, customers, and coworkers alike.

Both Jim Richmond and CubCrafters, are names that are synonymous with new innovation in backcountry aviation. Richmond started the company in 1980, and although he had retired from its day-to-day management in recent years, he continued to be active in managing the strategic and creative direction of the company until his death.

A true visionary, Jim saw 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. 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 STC’s 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.”

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 ( in his name, in lieu of flowers.