Paul Thrift, a busy 34-year-old real estate developer, takes his recreation very seriously. As President of Thompson Thrift Development in Terre Haute, IN, he describes himself as “fairly judicious in going about due diligence, perseverant – I stick with something until I figure it out – and I’m curious and like to try new things.”
So, when he started thinking about a hovercraft as a family recreational vehicle, he didn’t just call and place an order, even though he lives in the city where Neoteric Hovercraft is located. Instead, he did his due diligence: he signed up for a Test Flight and a training course at Hovercraft Training Centers.
Paul explained, “I don’t know if my expectations and curiosity are married to reality or not, so I want to see how to operate it. This way I can ascertain if it will work for our intended use and will it be practical for me to use; that’s why I’m here.”
After his training course with HTC Senior Flight Instructor Chris Fitzgerald, Paul said, “I wouldn’t even consider getting one without this training; it’s an absolute must. And Chris was impressive beyond words, given his history and passion for it, which shines through. And to spend a day of my time, I don’t take that lightly. But the day here was well worth it. Even if I didn’t go on to purchase a hovercraft, I would count the day a success and worth the money and time, just for the experience. I’d do it again just for the enjoyment!”
Here, Paul (right) and Chris Fitzgerald don their headsets before launching a 6-passenger craft on the Wabash River …
Saturday was a busy day at HTC. As Paul and Chris Fitzgerald fire up the 6-passenger craft, HTC Instructor Steve Stafford prepares to launch a Test Flight on a 4-passenger craft for the owner of Alaska’s Wilderness Place Lodge …
Paul launches the craft onto the Wabash River ...
After his flight experiences, Paul says the most enjoyable thing about a hovercraft is “It gives you the freedom to go wherever you want and experience the elements and spin around and not have the limitations of a wheeled or grounded vehicle. It looks like my family and I will be able to enjoy it recreationally, to access rivers and lakes, cruising, pleasure riding. My 16-year old son is especially excited about it – he thinks it’s pretty cool!”
Paul is now deciding whether it will be a 4-passenger or 6-passenger craft for the Thrift family. “The 6-passenger had more power, so I would probably prefer it for the capacity,” said Paul, “I’m leaning toward the large one because I want to put people in it. We like to do things outdoors as a family. Either way, I’m excited about doing something different!”
Whatever size the Thrift family hovercraft will be, thanks to Paul’s determination to ‘figure it all out’ with a Test Flight and thorough training, it will - without doubt - be just right for them!
Want to figure it all out for yourself?