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30 December 2013

HTC graduate John Wright: "Training is invaluable. Without it, you're gonna smash up!"

John and Maureen Wright live on an island in Buckthorn, Ontario, Canada. Sounds like a dream for these two retirees from law enforcement, right? Well, it is – now that they have a hovercraft!

The problem with their dream life has been ice. During much of the year, the partially frozen water surrounding their island makes it difficult for them to travel between their home and the mainland. “We’ll use the hovercraft to get back and forth from island to mainland when the water’s not hard enough to walk on or it’s too hard to put a boat on,” says John.

But before they took their new Neoteric craft back to Canada, John and Maureen first went through training at HTC. As John explains, “I took training to learn how to drive a car. And I’m a scuba diver; I wouldn't think about putting on a suit and tanks and going to a hundred feet without training. You don’t fly a plane without taking some instruction – you’re gonna crash. Same thing goes with this.”

Maureen agreed, “I need to be in it and see it explained for me to be comfortable. Training is just a commonsense thing to me.”

At the Wabash River training site, instructor Chris Fitzgerald teaches the Wrights how to unload their hovercraft from its trailer.

John takes the controls, while instructor Fitzgerald provides constant direction.

Back at HTC headquarters after a successful training day, John and Maureen receive their hovercraft pilot certifications from Chris Fitzgerald (center).
At the conclusion of their training, John had some words of advice for those who would venture out in a hovercraft without training: “It’s like a bar of soap on a bathroom floor – you’d be crashing into everything! Without training, I can’t even imagine starting off on my own.”

Describing his first experience in a hovercraft, John says, “The training was excellent! It was a lot different than I imagined – kind of like an airplane or helicopter that can spin on a dime and go backwards and forwards and sideways. I was surprised at how maneuverable it was. We’re going along the shore and I was able to maneuver around stumps and through things and with the reverse thrust buckets to come up and touch the bank then back away and come up and touch it again. You’re nine inches above the ground – it was great!”

A few days after returning to Canada, John sent us an update and a photo of him easily flying his hovercraft across partially frozen water …

After getting out on the ice, John really appreciated his training. He wrote, “Chris, you were right – the craft on ice is tricky. I liken it to a rocket ship in space where the inertia is exponential. But it worked beautifully, across the ice to the water.

No smashing up for the Wrights, after training at HTC!

27 December 2013

This weekend: HTC on Inside INdiana Business Television

Last April, in the midst of the Bubba’s Hover hubbub, HTC founder and senior instructor Chris Fitzgerald was featured on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

The show was such a hit that it’s being broadcast again this weekend as part of IIB’s Special 2013 Look Back Show. In case you missed out in April, here’s the programming schedule so you can still get the inside scoop!

24 December 2013

Happy Hovering Holidays from HTC!

Everyone at Hovercraft Training Centers hopes you’re hovering high this holiday season – just like Joey Meyers, the Official HTC HoverPup!

Photos courtesy HTC graduate Gary Meyers

And why not kick off a Happy Neo Year by treating yourself to an HTC Test Flight in a top-notch Neoteric Hovercraft - like Joey's!

01 December 2013

Are hovercraft for humans only? “Not so!” says Official HTC HoverPup!

It's said that every dog has its day. And on this day, we’re pleased to announce that Joey Meyers, a 4-year-old poodle mix, has been named the Official HTC HoverPup J
Joey Meyers, Official HoverPup, geared up and ready to hover.
After all, HTC graduate Gary Meyers has one of the coolest hovercraft around, so it’s no surprise that he also has the top dog. Gary and his wife Pam discovered Joey at Desert Dog Rescue in Tonopah, Arizona, where he had them from ‘woof’ and insisted on moving into their home at Lake Havasu – a watersports wonderland.

Since then, Joey is all up for adventure. Risk, heights, speed, motion – no big deal to the HoverPup! But he prefers his hovercraft over all else …
Hey, we’re barking up the wrong tree, here! Where’s my hovercraft?
This is fun but, doggone it, nothing beats my hovercraft!
Now we’re puttin’ on the dog! Launch time!
Joey supervises Gary during all preflight inspections and makes sure Gary keeps his custom-painted Neoteric HoverTrek™ spiffy clean. And, wearing his new Mutt Muffs and special harness, Joey jumps into the passenger seat and lets Gary know when he’s ready to hover!

I double dog dare you to have more fun in those airplanes than in my hovercraft!
And Joey is a good canine Samaritan. His Facebook page has nearly 200 friends that eagerly await his updates about other animals looking for homes. It's a great place for hovercraft owners to look if you need a mascot.

Joey has heartily agreed to serve as the Official HTC Hoverpup and to assist us in promotional activities whenever his busy schedule allows. Welcome aboard, Joey!