Message from the CEO regarding Mission Statements:
Often Mission Statements are nothing more than a collection of impressive sounding words that can show up lacking when pressed into action and tested by the real world. Mission Statements mean nothing without the commitment and support of the entire enterprise - starting with leadership. The commitment at Blue Raven Aviation is that our Mission Statement is real, that we live these values, that we walk this path.
With that commitment:
The Mission of Blue Raven Aviation is to become the provider of choice within the aviation community for the highest quality and best value products, services, and advice while continuously improving the health, prosperity, and happiness of our customers, shareholders, employees, and community.
CEO and Founder
Jim Eshleman is the founder and CEO of Blue Raven Aviation. He is a Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor with over 2,800 hours total time in more than 20 different types of aircraft. He also has 25 free-fall skydiving jumps and is a licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A&P). He soloed in 1976, just a few days after his 16th birthday, at Rialto Airport. He earned his instrument, commercial, and flight instructor ratings at Art Scholl Aviation before his 20th birthday and went on to instruct private pilots as well as primary aerobatics while going to college.
In 1982, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and left Art Scholl Aviation to join the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. While there, Jim earned his Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford University and flight instructed at Palo Alto airport.
Jim left NASA in 1985 to join the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Burbank Ca where he had the opportunity to work on the SR-71, U-2, and numerous other aircraft configurations. In 1992 he led the Lockheed Martin integrated test team for the Advanced Short Takeoff & Vertical Landing (ASTOVL) configuration. Under his leadership, Lockheed Martin was the only competitor to successfully complete all phases of testing and the ASTOVL program transitioned into the Joint Strike Fighter. From 1996 to 2000 Jim was the flight sciences leader for Lockheed Martin’s X-35 program which would win the Joint Strike Fighter competition and go on to become the F-35.
Since then, Jim has provided critical leadership support to numerous aircraft programs. Most noticeably, the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B FireScout helicopter and X-47B Unmanned Carrier Aviation System (UCAS) and continues to contribute to the aviation industry. He also teaches engineering at Mt San Antonio Community College (Mt. SAC).
Jim and his wife Suzanne reside in Yucaipa. They have three grown sons (James, John, and Paul) as well as four grandchildren.
JAMES D. PICKENS
Airline Transport Pilot
Certificated Flight Instructor/Instrument Instructor
A native of Whittier, California, Jim soloed in a Piper Tomahawk, at Riverside Airport in 1980. He earned his Private Pilot Certificate at Brackett Field in La Verne, CA, in 1983. A six year veteran of the U.S. Navy, Jim utilized the G.I. Bill to graduate from Mount San Antonio Community College (Mt. SAC) in 1983, with dual Associate of Arts degrees in Commercial Flight and Air Traffic Management.
From 1979 to 1999, Jim worked in the private sector and county government as a Transportation Planner. Jim's life long dream to be a professional pilot was fulfilled in 2000, when he cashed in his retirement funds to finance advanced flight training. Earning his Commercial, Flight Instructor and Multi-Engine certificates and Instrument, Instrument Instructor and Commercial-Multi-Instrument ratings in just five short months, he began work as a full-time flight instructor for American Flyers at Montgomery Field in San Diego.
Over the past 18 years, Jim has worked as a flight instructor, a Part-135 pilot flying cargo and passengers, a Part-121 co-pilot for two regional airlines and a contract pilot for a Part-91 ownership group operating in San Luis Obispo, CA. Since 2016, Jim has flown all over the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean for JetSuite, Inc., the top-rated jet charter company in America, and is type rated in the Embraer Phenom 100.
Since 1980, Jim has logged over 9000 hours total flight time in over 30 different types of aircraft. Jim has given over 3500 hours of dual flight instruction, instrument and multi-engine instruction and logged over 1500 hours of turbine flight time. Jim is particularly proud of his flight time in several WWII warbirds, pre-1950 antique aircraft and being an instructor in tailwheel aircraft.
Jim is a member of Redlands Airport Advisory Board which reports directly to the Redlands City Council on all matters pertaining to the Redlands Airport. Jim is also a member of the Redlands Airport Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA Chapter #845) at Redlands Airport.
Jim is married to his sweetheart Cindy, and is a resident of Redlands, CA. He has one son, Ryan, who is a Sargent in the US Army and two high school age grandchildren, Celest and Evan.