In 1986, a pivotal moment occurred when Scott Kartvedt and his friends watched the movie, “Top Gun.” The movie sparked an unwavering aspiration within Scott to become a fighter pilot, master the art of landing jets on aircraft carriers, and break through the skies. With unwavering determination, Scott turned his dream into a reality that would define his remarkable journey.
After graduating from Pepperdine University, Scott’s resolve led him to apply and successfully enter the naval aviator program. Embarking on a career that would see him soar to incredible heights, he took to the skies aboard FA/18 Hornets, etching his name into the annals of aviation history.
In 1999, the Navy recognized Scott’s exceptional abilities and chose him to join the esteemed ranks of the Blue Angels, the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, headquartered in Pensacola, FL. Over three exhilarating seasons, he showcased his precision and skill through captivating air shows before returning to his core role within the fleet.
Guiding a unit of 250 dedicated Sailors in VFA-83, Scott’s leadership proved transformative. The squadron’s unparalleled performance earned them the 2009 Commander Naval Air Forces Aviation Battle Efficiency Award, the prestigious CAPT Michael J. Estocin Award as the Navy’s preeminent Strike Fighter Squadron of the Year, and the esteemed 2010 CNO Safety Award.
Scott’s journey saw him undertake five combat deployments, flying an impressive 91 combat missions in support of vital operations such as IRAQI FREEDOM (across three tours) and ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan (across two tours), along with the 1996 TAIWANESE CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS. As a result, Scott amassed over 6,300 flight hours and an astounding 658 carrier-arrested landings across eleven distinct aircraft carriers.
A crowning achievement came When Scott became the inaugural Commanding Officer of the sole F-35C Stealth Strike Fighter Squadron in the United States’ arsenal—Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO ONE. Stationed at Eglin AFB, Florida, where he left an indelible mark before his honorable retirement from the Navy.
In his current capacity as a seasoned professional pilot, Scott continues to be a driving force. He lends his expertise as an instructor and evaluator for United Airlines in Denver, Colorado, while also occupying the distinguished position of the number 5 pilot for the Patriot Jet Team—the sole civilian jet demonstration team in North America. Notably, he embraced the role of a stunt pilot in “TOPGUN Maverick” and further upheld aviation safety as the supervisor for Mission Impossible 8.
Beyond these soaring accomplishments, Scott remains an esteemed presence on the Board of Directors for the Blue Angel Foundation, emblematic of his enduring commitment to the spirit of aviation.
Scott resides in Colorado alongside his devoted wife of 32 years. Their legacy of aviation excellence persists through their two sons, both naval aviators, charting their own course among the clouds, following in their father’s illustrious footsteps.