CubCrafters Announces the Passing of Company Founder Jim Richmond

Jim Richmond at Mile High airstrip in the Idaho wilderness with several new NX Cubs in 2020

Yakima, Washington – November 22, 2021: It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of our Founder, Jim Richmond, who passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 21st, 2021 surrounded by loving family at his home in Yakima, Washington. He will be missed greatly by family, friends, customers, and coworkers alike.

Both Jim Richmond and the company he founded, CubCrafters, are names that are synonymous with new innovation in backcountry aviation. Jim 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 from 1-3 PM at the CubCrafters Factory at 1918 South 16th Avenue in Yakima, Washington. Doors will open at 12 PM, with the program set to begin at 1 PM in the main aircraft assembly hangar. Family, friends, coworkers, and colleagues of Jim, along with CubCrafters customers and backcountry pilots are all welcome. For those that can not attend in person, the memorial service will be live-streamed via Facebook on a special tribute page:

Facebook / Remembering Jim Richmond.

The family requests those who wish to express sympathy consider making a donation to the Idaho Aviation Foundation or the Yakima Union Gospel Mission in his name, in lieu of flowers.


Rick Erickson

Great Memorial Service. He will truly be missed. I remember the hundreds of seat backs and windows my dad made for Jim in his shop at home, And the trips to pick up plane parts for Jim.

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