Kyle Bushman, AMT 2018 Next Gen 40 Under 40 Award Winner

Sept. 20, 2018
25, Owner, The Ragwood Refactory, Creswell, OR Years in Aviation: 11

Kyle Bushman started flying remote control airplanes at a young age and found he enjoyed fixing them as much or more than flying them. He started flying at age 14. Restoring and watching his first aircraft fly away between 2013 and 2014 gave him the sense that "there is nothing in this world like building an airplane with your own hands and watching it fly for the very first time."

He went to A&P school right out of high school and received his training from Lane Community College. 

His mentor is his grandfather, Ralph Halderman, who always pushed him in a positive direction.

In 2013 Bushman went to work for The Ragwood Refactory with founder Tim Talen, and learned everything he could. Talen was restoring antique aircraft and Bushman thought the time was right to get into antiques before the information and knowledge was lost. After two years Talen decided to retire, and Bushman made the decision to follow his passion and make The Ragwood Refectory his own.

Nominated by Joshua Levi Knowlton, Field Mechanic, Hillsboro Aviation and 2017 AMT Next Gen Award Winner: "Kyle first soloed an airplane at the age of 16. He started A&P school at 18. At the age of 23 he took over The Ragwood Refactory antique aircraft restoration shop in Creswell, OR. He currently owns a 1949 Ryan Navion, a 1943 Navy N3N biplane, and three rare 1938 Cessna 165 Airmaster projects that are in various stages of restoration. He is now 25 years old and quickly becoming one of the leaders in the world of antique aircraft restoration. He always opens his shop for kids and makes himself and his planes available to people who are curious about aviation. He has restored several awardwinning aircraft already and his attention to detail is second to none. I've known and worked with Kyle for about seven years now and cannot think of a more deserving person for this award. He works extremely hard for very long hours every day. Kyle has a big heart and is extremely honest and he never cuts a corner. I trust his work and his word. He is the epitome of what the aviation industry needs in order to grow in the 21st century."

To give back to the industry he is a strong advocate to people around him, letting them know there is unlimited opportunities in aviation. "There is a huge need for people willing to learn and if you are that person, you can write your own ticket."

His goals are to continue to grow the shop, to expand the business to allow for not only restoration work on tube and fabric airplanes but to start doing 100-hour and annual services as well.