President of Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
Private pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings
Sport Aviation reader
Meet Jim Irwin
Growing up in Southern California in the 1950s and ‘60s, Jim Irwin began flying in the
backseat of his dad’s Vultee BT- 13 while sitting in his mother’s lap at 5 weeks old. Building
airplane models and flying control-line and RC aircraft as a kid, Jim has loved flying ever since.
Jim earned his private pilot’s license at age 21 in 1976 and quickly added instrument
and multi-engine ratings. He’s logged more than 4,500 hours and currently flies a Cessna
425 Conquest and a Navion Rangemaster.
Jim is the president of Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co., the leading supplier of homebuilt
aircraft parts and materials. His parents, Bob and Flo Irwin, founded the company in 1965,
and Jim and his wife Nanci have operated the business since 1980. Their three sons, Mike,
Jeff, and Rob are pilots and are now active in management of the business, and their daughter
Krissy works in the fashion industry, loves aviation, and plans to begin flight training soon.
Aircraft Spruce is a major sponsor of AirVenture Oshkosh and is the named presenter of the
Homebuilders Hangar during the event. The company also sponsors EAA’s webinar program
and is a supporter of the Peter Burgher Chapter Challenge, a donation fund that offers EAA
chapters the tools and resources to make the business of being an EAA chapter easier.
“I had the good fortune of growing up in an aviation family and learned early on
about all of the great experiences general aviation can offer”, Jim explains. “I loved
walking the flightlines with my brother at Rockford and Oshkosh as a kid, and through my
years in the homebuilt parts supply business I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds
of homebuilders from around the world. Our long-standing relationship with the EAA
membership has enabled us to provide builders with the products they need to complete
the aircraft of their dreams.”
Why Jim reads Sport Aviation
“EAA is an exciting and unique organization which brings people together from all walks
of life and from around the world to share their love of aviation. EAA Sport Aviation is an
ideal combination of ‘how to’ articles, new product information, outstanding photography,
and fascinating stories about all types of aircraft and the people that fly them. There is
something for everyone in EAA Sport Aviation!”
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