Our Staff

Foothills Aviation LLC Owner, Rick Robinette. Photo by Roger Parker

Craig Jones – Maintenance Technician

Craig grew up on his family’s farm north of Shoshone. He worked long, hard days and accepted many responsibilities at an early age. He has always loved airplanes. As a boy, he would watch the crop dusters that operated off the dirt strip on the farm. He would always look up when one flew over—sometimes, it would be Rick Robinette.

Mechanical things have always fascinated Craig. He rebuilt a 3hp Briggs and Stratton engine when he was eight and built a go-cart with his brothers. As a teen and a young man, he built hot rods and VW-powered sand rails. He worked on the family farm maintaining equipment for 30 years. For the last 10 of those years, he also worked in the nursery industry as an equipment operator, which involved maintaining and manufacturing specialized equipment. He became the Pest Manager and the Yard Manager. After leaving the area, he worked in Utah for a large green house and with juvenile delinquent boys in a group home. He missed his machines.

After he returned to Idaho, Craig jumped at the opportunity to work for Rick at Foothills Aviation, doing the kind of work he enjoys. He loves the need for perfection that working on aircraft requires. He plans to build on his endeavors by restoring his 1941 Taylorcraft and becoming a pilot himself.

Craig takes pride in his work and in making sure customers are satisfied with their planes.


Jerry Burgess – Maintenance Technician

Jerry Burgess



Jerry was born in Twin Falls, Idaho in 1943. He has been around and enjoyed airplanes from an early age. His father was an avid pilot and flyer for years.

Jerry graduated from Buhl High School and joined the Army in 1962. After going through Army Electronics School in Ft. Monmuth, NJ, he ended up in Okinawa, where he met and married his wife. He spent 1 ½ years in S. Korea, then left the military and went to work for Boeing in Seattle, where he worked for 3 ½ years on the final assembly line building 727s.

Jerry moved back to Buhl and worked for Motor Merc Auto Parts Store for four years. He got his Private Pilot license in 1970. He has owned three Ercoupes, one Aeronca Chief, a Bellanca 14-13-2, RV6-A and an RV-12. He worked as a mechanic at PET milk for 26 years and then for Green Giant “Seneca” for nine years. Now retired, he works part-time for Rick at Foothills Aviation.



Gilberto Rizo– Maintenance Technician



Gil is a serious mechanic who takes classes at the College of Southern Idaho when he can fit them into his schedule. He is also studying for his Airframe and Powerplant Certification.  Eventually, we hope he earns his pilot's license and a Certified Flight Instructor's certification because we need instructors like Gil who work hard to excel in everything they do.







Edgar Velasquez– Maintenance Technician



Edgar (on the left) is a Computer Science student at the University of Idaho, who will work in online security in the future. He comes back every summer to work for us, and we almost dread the day he graduates and moves into the next chapter of his life because we'll be losing a fantastic mechanic. Someone else will be getting a highly qualified computer guru with a solid work ethic, though. 







Arlene Armstrong-Office Manager

Arlene Armstrong moved to Idaho for the last time in 2010.  She started at Foothills Aviation in April of 2015 and didn’t know a thing about aviation. “It was ‘sink or swim,’” she said, “I’ve learned a lot in the last two years.”

But, she did know a lot about running an office.

She grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. She worked in the office at her father’s machine shop. One of his customers was Master Magician Lance Burton. Her father fabricated parts for Burton’s sets and magic acts. She was an Accounts Receivable manager for a Las Vegas property management company, and she earned a Nail Technician’s certification. It was this job that made her realize how much she enjoyed customer service.

As sometimes happens, Arlene met the man of her dreams and started her family. Her job as a stay at home mom of four children taught her phenomenal organization skills, and we will all be lost without her when she finally takes a vacation or maybe a sick day.

When Arlene and her family moved to Wendell, she worked at ITC Services for a short time as a data entry clerk before coming to work for us.

Arlene found a home when she accepted her position as Office Manager here at Foothills Aviation.  



The Boss's Co-pilot


T-Amber has been Rick Robinnette's co-pilot for about 11 years now. She's an experienced passenger, best friend and pest-chaser. She keeps the shop clear of mice and the mechanics in line.