KVDV, Inc. - Advertising, Marketing and Website Design





  Rick "Comrade" Svetkoff - Lead Pilot

Rick Rick grew up in Clarkston, Michigan. At the age of 12 he became an Eagle Scout, and while finishing high school Rick obtained all state honors in both track and cross country, and began his aviation career by obtaining his private pilots license.

  Upon graduation from high school, Rick then went to college on a track scholarship, and received further all state and national honors. While attending college, he completed both his commercial and instrument pilot licenses, and began flying cargo in multi engine corporate aircraft for an air charter company during summer breaks. Upon graduation from college, Rick started his own air charter company and within three years was able to build it into a four aircraft fleet using Piper Navajo’s, Cheyenne, and Cherokee aircraft.

Upon being accepted to the US Navy, he sold his air charter business traveled to Pensacola, Florida. During flight training, Rick was placed on the Commodores list with Distinction, and went on to fly the A-4 Skyhawk, a carrier based attack jet aircraft. After leaving the Navy, Rick continued his aviation career as a pilot for Continental Airlines flying as a first officer on the Boeing 727, and as captain on the DC-9, MD80, Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.

In 1995 Rick was able to obtain his first F-104 aircraft, and Starfighters was born. Shortly thereafter, he was able to obtain yet two more F-104’s and has flown as a performer on the airshow circuit since 1996, and flying as team lead with a two ship F-104 flight demonstration since 1997. This has been accomplished with a completion rate of over 98 percent at over 150 major airshows, and over 300 performances without incident. This has now become his full time job, having retired from the Airlines. Rick to date has accumulated over 20,000 hours of flight.

Wolfgang “Wolf” Czaia - Pilot

Wolf’s career in aviation includes more than 27,000 hours of military and civilian flying on both sides of the Atlantic. Starting out in gliders at age 15, he joined the German Luftwaffe after graduation, went through U.S. Air Force jet training (Top Gun and Outstanding Student awards at Luke AFB), returned to Germany to fly the F-84F.  During the last six years of military service Wolf flew the F-104 as an instructor pilot. After leaving the Luftwaffe and moving to the U.S., he joined AirCal, and retired from American Airlines as a Check Airman for the Boeing 757 and 767. Wolf got involved again with the F- 104 in 1988, using the aircraft for flight test and research, before joining Starfighters. In addition to flying with Starfighters, he flies corporate Boeing 757s, and is busy as the test pilot for the Me262, the world’s first operational jet fighter.

  Dave “Shark” Waldrop - Pilot

Dave grew up in Nashville, TN and graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1964 with a BS degree.  From there he attended Air Force flight training at Laughlin AFB, TX.  Upon graduation from flight training, Dave went to Nellis AFB Las Vegas Nevada where he checked out in the F-105 Thunderchief.  On completion of his training, he was assigned to Yokota AFB, Japan. In May 1967 Dave volunteered for temporary duty in SE Asia and was sent to Takhli Air Base, Thailand. After flying 45 missions, Dave was released and was

Click photo for a larger view of our CF-104D two-seater.

  to return to Yokota, but instead, requested to be reassigned to Korat AFB, Thailand which needed experienced F-105 drivers due to having experienced some heavy losses.  In December 1967, Dave completed his combat tour and returned to Yokota AFB, Japan with 105 combat missions in the F-105 including 49 over Hanoi.

Dave’s achievements while flying combat include:

3 Silver Stars
3 Distinguished Flying Crosses
12 Air Medals
1 Well Done for saving a sick F-105
1 Ejection in Southeast Asia from a F-105
1 Confirmed Mig-17 Gun Kill
1 Probable Mig-17 Gun Kill

One of these Silver Stars was for One Confirmed Mig-17 Gun Kill and another probable Mig-17 Gun Kill on August 23, 1967. Both Migs were on the tail of another F-105 with the lead Mig firing at the F-105.  Dave was able to close on the Migs at a speed of over Mach 1.2 and prevented the other F-105 from being shot down.

On returning to Yokota AFB, Japan Dave checked out in the F-4 Phantom.  He was reassigned to the states in September 1968 and was assigned to Kirtland AFB, NM as a Weapons Research and Development Test Pilot. While there Dave flew both the F-104 Starfighter and the F-4 Phantom.  Dave also flew as a Maintenance Test Pilot in both the F-105 and F-4 during his service in the USAF.

Dave separated from the USAF in February 1970 and joined Delta Airlines.  He flew with them for thirty-two years.  During that time, he instructed on the Boeing 737 for six years. After joining Delta, Dave transferred to the Marine Corps Reserves at Dobbins AFB, GA and flew the F-8 Crusader for 4 years until they were retired from service.  After leaving the reserve program, Dave built and flew a Pitts Special biplane.  He then joined two other Pitts drivers and performed as a formation air show team.

Steve Ritchie - Pilot

Brigadier General Steve Ritchie was born June 25, 1942, in Reidsville, North Carolina and, to our good fortune, has been an active resident in Colorado during the years 1960-1964, 1975 to 1982, and from 1990 to the present.

Steve entered the Air Force Academy in 1960, graduating in 1964 with a B. S. in Engineering Science.  While there, he was a starting halfback on the Falcon football team, playing his final game in the 1963 Gator Bowl.

In August, 1964, Steve entered pilot training at Laredo, Texas, and graduated first in his class.  His initial assignment was in Flight Test Operations at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, flying F-104 Starfighters.

In 1968, General Ritchie served as an F-4 Aircraft Commander at DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, where he flew the first F-4 Fast FAC (Forward Air Controller) mission in Southeast Asia.  He was instrumental in the spread of the Fast FAC program throughout Southeast Asia which proved to be one of the most successful operations of the entire conflict.  In 1969, he completed the Air Force “Top Gun” Fighter Weapons School in the Phantom and became one of the youngest instructors in the history of the school.

General Ritchie volunteered for a second tour in Southeast Asia in 1972 and compiled an aviation record that has not been equaled.  He shot down a MIG-21 on the 10th of May and another on May 31st.  He downed two more MIG-21s on July 8th in a classic low-altitude dogfight.  Steve was victorious again on August 28th while flying his 339th combat mission, making him the Air Force’s first and only pilot Ace since the Korean War and the only American pilot in history to down five MIG-21s.

At the urging of Senator Barry Goldwater, General Ritchie left active duty in April 1974 to run for the U.S. Congress from his home state of North Carolina. Unfortunately, he ran as a Republican against a popular Democrat incumbent, in the south, during Watergate, right after Vietnam!

He then returned to Colorado where he worked as a special assistant to Joseph Coors for the next six years.  During this time he traveled over 200,000 miles a year representing Colorado, aviation, national security and America’s Free Market System.  Since leaving Coors, he has continued to serve in these endeavors.

Sean Freitag - Crew Chief

Coming Soon.

Andrew “Hook” Bales - Crew Chief

Coming Soon.

Roger Bingham - Lead Avionics

Roger "Big Daddy" Bingham, born in St. Petersburg, Florida, has over 16 years experience in the avionics industry. After 10 years in the United States Navy working on various aircraft, such as the F-18 Hornet and A-7 Corsair, Roger continued his career in the general aviation community with the likes of Raytheon, Stevens Aviation, and BF Goodrich & Aerospace. Roger has just recently completed the installation of the Chelton Flight Systems, EFIS 2000, in the CF-104D.

Peter Clukey - Ground Crew

Pete is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and worked there as an Avionics Technician.  Following ERAU, he went to work for Lockheed Space Operations Company at the Kennedy Space Center.  In his spare time, he volunteered at the Valiant Air Command museum restoring warbirds, working mostly working on Grumman OV-1 Mohawks.  Pete transferred to Lockheed Georgia in 1995 to the Commercial Field Service group, providing technical support for L-188 Electra, F-104 Starfighter, T-33 Shooting Star, and other out-of-production Lockheed Aircraft.  Recently, he began working on the C-5 avionics upgrade program and is building a Sonex homebuilt aircraft.

Bill “Fridge” Grannan - Ground Crew

Fridge has held a long interest in aviation history which led him to the Starfighters Team.  He first met the Starfighters Team in the summer of 2002 while they where performing in his hometown of Evansville, IN.  We all became friends and with the common interest of flight and history, he joined the team.  Bill is now on the ground crew and helps with the mechanical functions of the jets before, during and after the airshows. During our down-time, he helps answer questions with the public at our static display and merchandise tent regarding the history of the F-104s and other planes of interest.

Robert “Bob” Irwin - Crew Chief

Bob Irwin, born in Pordenone, Italy...has over 24 years of combined USAF/AFRC experience with extensive background in Avionics. A full-time Air Force Reserve Technician with the 315th Airlift Wing at Charleston, South Carolina, he has been a Boeing C-17A Guidance & Control  Lead Technician since 1997. His aircraft experience includes F-4D, EC-130E,  WC-130E/H, and C-141A/B. He is a Private Pilot and is closely involved in PC flight simulation.

R. A. “JR” Kincaid - Chief of Operations

JR’s aviation career started in 1979 and his skydiving career in 1981. His aerobatic time includes the Aerobat, Cap 10B, Pitts S-2B, SF-260, T-34, T-6, T-28, CM-170, T-33, and F-104. JR has a few hundred hours in the Shooting Star. He has instructed ACM, aerobatics, formation flying, skydiving, and has test flown ram-air parachutes. JR is the Chief of Operations for Starfighters.

Bill McLaughin - Technical Advisor

Coming Soon.

Tony “Double-D” Platas - Ground Crew

Tony is a race car driver and master mechanic. While growing up, Tony’s favorite airplane was the F-104 Starfighter. In 2003, he officially joined the Starfighters Team and travels to shows all over the US and Canada. Tony is on the ground crew and helps with the mechanical functions of the jets before, during and after the airshows.

Copyright © 2006 Starfighters, Inc.  All Rights  Reserved.


Your Success is Our Business!

KVDV, Inc.
Aurora, CO 80015
(303) 888-6899

Home  |  Our Services Our Mission  |  Promotions  |  Events  |  Public Relations  |  Advertising

Website Design  | Graphic Design  |  Research  |  Clients  |  Sales Support  |  Contact Us  | Links Site Map  Privacy Policy

Website designed and maintained by KVDV, Inc. 2008-2012©
All rights reserved. ©2009

All website contents including pictures are the property of the owners and may not be used for any other purpose without express written permission by the owners of this website.    If you see errors, bad links or any information that is out of date or incorrect please contact our webmaster. Thank you!