Gerald Determan is a 61-year-old independent contractor from Iowa who has been in the carpentry business for 30 years - and is determined not to retire. “I want to keep working; I don’t ever want to retire,” he says. “If I retire, I’m an old person!”
And that determination is what brought him to HTC. “I’m always going to have something to do and I’m looking for something different, so I’m thinking of hovercraft as a new occupation,” Gerald explains. “I’d like to start a business selling hovercraft and giving rides. We have lots of big lakes in our area.”
Gerald Determan (right) receives his Hovercraft Pilot Certification from HTC Senior Instructor Chris Fitzgerald (left).
‘Determination’ could be Gerald’s middle name. If you want him to accomplish something, just tell him he can’t do it – and watch him go to work! That’s how he became a musician. “I’m self-taught. I took sax lessons when I was 10 years old and after 3 lessons my teacher fired me – she told my parents that I would never be a musician. I think that’s what drove me to be a musician,” he relates. “I’ve been playing music for more than 40 years now – bass guitar, acoustic guitar and 15 other instruments – sax, flute, etc. I’m playing now with the best group I’ve ever played with – we perform about 50 weekends a year.”
Naturally, Gerald’s first step was to learn how to fly one. “I’ve been checking the Neoteric Hovercraft website for five years, just dreaming about it, and now I want to make it come to reality. I’m going to become a pilot, then go back to Iowa and have further talks with the person who wants to invest in my new business.”
Gerald takes the controls for his first hovercraft flight, while Chris Fitzgerald provides constant instruction and feedback.
Gerald had never been on a hovercraft before his training course at HTC. But his first experience with hovering left him more determined than ever to make hovercraft part of his life. And it also convinced him of the importance of training. “It was pretty darned good – I learned a lot. Training showed me the possible dangers of hovering and how to avoid them,” Gerald said. “It was a one-of-a-kind feeling, riding on air, flying backwards and sideways. If I hadn’t taken the training course, I wouldn’t get that feeling at all. It’s not something anybody can just get in and go – you need training.”
Want to start your own business? Become a Neoteric Hovercraft dealer …