Matt "Stink-Eye" Stettner, LCDR USN (Ret)
How do you know there's a fighter pilot on a boat?
He'll tell you.
This is your Captain Speaking...
I grew up in the midwest as the son of an airline pilot with a predictable love of all things aviation and an irrational fear of the sea (more specifically, the sharks in it). In 2001, I graduated from the Naval Academy with a Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering and orders to begin flight training in Pensacola, FL. Nearly four years later, I earned my wings in Meridian, MS with orders to fly the Navy's (at the time) newest fighter aircraft: the FA-18E Super Hornet. Two years later, I deployed to the Middle East for nearly a year with the Pukin' Dogs of VFA-143. Shortly thereafter, I was assigned as an Advanced Jet Instructor Pilot in the T-45C at Meridian, MS. I spent 7 years there teaching with a year-long "break" in the middle where I worked with Special Operations Command Central at Al Udeid airbase in Qatar. In 2014, I reported to the Sundowners of VFC-111 in Key West, FL where I served as an Adversary Instructor Pilot in the F-5 until I retired in 2021.
In 2016, I became one of the Shareholders of Summerland Key Airport, and, even though I don't recall running a campaign, I was immediately voted by my fellow Shareholders to become the Chief Operating Officer and Airport Manager. For as long as anyone can remember, Summerland Key Airport has never had an aircraft maintenance inspection and repair service on the field. I created Summerland Aviation to fill this gap, and based on bookings, this service was sorely needed.
While I was assigned to the Sundowners, my fighter pilot ego naturally required that I overcome my midwesterner fear of the sea. Thanks to some good friends, I spent several years becoming addicted to diving and spearfishing in the most spectacular reef in North America. After nearly a decade of exploring the waters near Summerland Key, I earned my US Coast Guard Captain's License so that I could casually fund this aquatic addiction by sharing it with the occasional friends I hadn't met yet.
After I retired from the Navy, I briefly considered flying for the airlines, but that did not support the kind of lifestyle I wanted for my family. After much brainstorming, my wife, Sarah, and I dreamed up our brand and business, Keybilly Adventures, to formally utilize my interest in Summerland Key Airport and Captain's License along with her creative graphic design and diving experience to create a fly-in destination adventure for pilots and their families/friends as a memorable alternative to the $100 hamburger. Obviously, we're happy to take mere mortals... I mean... non-pilots out for a spectacular private adventure on the water, too, and, since I am also a flight instructor, I can set up a discovery flight in one of our aircraft!
I'm excited about this opportunity to share my journey and my passion for the waters of the Florida Keys with new friends while embracing the opportunity to be actively present in the lives of my family and teach my kids about stewardship of our blue marble, seamanship, diving, fishing and flying!