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23 December 2014

HTC Grad Organizes New Hovercraft Event: 1st Annual Havasu HoverFest

Hovercraft Training Centers graduates don’t just learn to fly and then go back to their pre-hovercraft lives. We hear it over and over again: becoming a trained hovercraft pilot is a life-changing experience – bringing new adventures, new friends, and opening new horizons.

Take, for example, HTC grad Gary Meyers. Since earning his hovercraft pilot certification and buying a Neoteric HoverTrek™ (which he named “Neo”), much of Gary’s life has focused on hovercrafting around Lake Havasu in Arizona. He says, “I am still entirely enjoying Neo on and around Lake Havasu. This is the perfect terrain for recreational hovercrafting, with plenty of flat lands, beaches, water, and river areas to explore. The Neoteric can easily maneuver in areas not accessible to other boaters.  While passing near some of the shorelines, I often see a lot of faces being obscured by cameras and smart phones!  This is fun!”
Gary and "Neo" on the Colorado River, with the majestic Topock Gorge in the background.

And now Gary is sharing his adventures, by organizing a brand new hovercraft event – the 1st Annual Havasu HoverFest, coming up April 10-12 in conjunction with the largest boat show in the West - the Lake Havasu Boat Show. The HoverFest will include hovercraft demos, time trials off the beach, and a cruise up the Colorado River. 

Jump on board “Neo” and get a preview of the HoverFest as you cruise up the Colorado River with Gary …

If you’re already a hovercrafter, you can

If you aren’t, there’s still time to take a Flight Training Course 

19 December 2014

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Bubba Claus!”

There’s a reason Hovercraft Training Centers trains exclusively on Neoteric hovercraft – the Neoteric HoverTrek™ is undisputedly the most innovative, effective and interesting hovercraft on the market. That’s why Bubba Watson chose Neoteric to manufacture his BW1 hovercraft golf cart – and chose HTC to teach him to fly it.

Following on the heels of Bubba’s Hover, his world-famous viral video, Bubba is now ‘rapping’ his Christmas gift. He just released a new rap video, “Bubba Claus – The Single” – and after just a couple of days, it already has more than half a million views on YouTube.

The media worldwide are all over it – but the reviews are a bit mixed. For instance, UK’s Daily Mail reported, “Every rapper should have a cool set of wheels – and Watson’s golf buggy certainly oozes class.” The Washington Post said, “Bubba Watson knows the best way to offer a Christmas gift – he breaks out his hovercraft, making sure to remind everyone that he owns the awesome vehicle.” But Golf Channel wrote, “Bubba Claus brings joy to your heart, pain to your ears.

We’re not qualified to judge Bubba’s talent as a musician – we only taught him to fly his hovercraft golf cart. Take a look at his video and leave a comment to tell us what you think – about Bubba the rapper and Bubba’s hovercraft …

15 December 2014

Hovercraft Operation: A Three-Legged Stool

We at Hovercraft Training Centers use the analogy of hovercraft operation as a three-legged stool: If one leg is weak, it topples. The three legs are: 1) A properly engineered hovercraft; 2) Thorough pilot training; and 3) A comprehensive maintenance program.

When you simply buy a hovercraft and take off on your own without pilot or maintenance training, most likely it’s going to end up parked in your garage and, whether you planned to use it for business or pleasure, your dream is going to topple.

But when you make sure your intentions have a strong foundation, your future with your hovercraft will play out like Barry Eison’s – its novelty and usefulness will increase over time. Barry is a 58-year-old mechanical engineer from Tennessee, who bought a hovercraft a year ago, but first underwent training at HTC.

Barry Eison (right) receives his Hovercraft Pilot Certification from HTC Senior Instructor Chris Fizgerald.
Barry keeps a journal of his hovercrafting and often sends us excerpts, so we’ll let him tell his story in his own words …

January 2014:
“I bought a hovercraft because every time we go out hunting, fishing, exploring, we see places we can’t get to. So many areas are inaccessible. Duck hunting is big in my area and one of the biggest frustrations for duck hunters is you have to be able to go from water to land to water – a hovercraft makes that possible. I’ve been looking at hovercraft for five years. I’ve looked at every hovercraft company out there … Neoteric is the only one that doesn’t have a single negative review.”

February 2014: (after his HTC training course)
“My biggest concern was being able to safely operate the craft. Here’s what I learned:
1) Training is absolutely necessary. If you don’t know how to use it, stay off of it!”
2) A hovercraft is a flying machine. Its capabilities must be learned and it takes time to learn to operate it.
3) If one gets too “cocky” or arrogant in their familiarization with the craft, you can get hurt of damage the machine.
4) It’s important to learn to feel the response of the craft and recognize that it doesn’t take much to alter its flight.
5) Anticipate the path you will take when you’re executing turns or other maneuvers.
6) Think, think, think! Starting, stopping – every move requires thought until you know it by heart.
7) Don’t overreact when responding to changes.
8) Learn the machine – inside and out, front to back.”

August 27, 2014:
“I love this machine. The more I use it, the more I realize the engineering and research & development that went into its development. Well done, Neoteric, well done. I am becoming quite confident with it and absolutely cannot wait to get it out hunting this winter. It has already opened up areas that I have hunted my entire life but have never been able to access.”

November 12, 2014:
“The hovercraft has performed very well on the Mississippi River and in and around the barge traffic we encounter. I was able to harvest my first deer from an area that I was previously unable to access but can now using the hovercraft. The state game wardens think it is fascinating and have given me the green light to use it freely on land or water within their motorized vehicle guidelines.”

December 15, 2014:
“I took the hovercraft out on the Mississippi River on Friday afternoon and deliberately targeted rough waters (barge wakes, small whirlpools, traversing small rapids over rock dikes, swift current) and the craft performed absolutely flawlessly. The more I use it the more impressed with it I am. You may want to pass this on to other clients: Do not take the training manual home and set it on a shelf. Print it, put it in a notebook and READ IT. Everything you need to know about the craft is enclosed! It has been a godsend for me.”

Thinking you might like to own a hovercraft?
The first step to building a strong foundation is to see if a hovercraft is right for you.

12 December 2014

VIDEO: Hovercraft Pilot Training in Vietnam

Early this year, Hovercraft Training Centers' Senior Instructor Chris Fitzgerald traveled to Hanoi to train first responders from Vietnam's National Department of Rescue & Relief, as well as personnel from Tuyet Nga Co. Ltd., a security and rescue equipment supplier. Tuyet Nga purchased two Neoteric rescue hovercraft for use by the National Department of Rescue & Relief - a great asset in a nation so often plagued by monsoons and floods.

In this recent video, you can see the value of being trained by HTC to train other hovercraft pilots. Here, the HTC-trained pilots are conducting flight training in Vietnam for first responders from Brigade 249 of the Public Affairs Command, who will use the hovercraft for search & rescue and military operations ...

Join the global ranks of HTC-trained hovercraft pilots ...

11 December 2014

Hovercraft Training Centers in Action

Check out this new video of Hovercraft Training Centers in action ...

05 December 2014

Hovercraft: A Profitable Dream Come True

Shaw Couevas, a 27-year old from New Orleans, Louisiana, has the sense of adventure and the entrepreneurial spirit to make his dream come true - and then to make it profitable. But he also has the wisdom to make sure he knows what he’s doing – by taking the proper training.
Shaw Couevas (left) receives his Hovercraft Pilot Certification from HTC Senior Instructor Chris Fitzgerald on the day he picked up his 6-passenger Neoteric HoverTrek™.
Shaw’s story began when he was just a child. “When I was a small kid, I had a remote control hovercraft, and I was always trying to build one. So I’ve always known about them, but I never thought I’d use one,” he said.

Then he had an idea. “I decided to open a tourism business in New Orleans. I think hovercraft are a new and exciting way to get customers down there and experience the wildlife.” The decision came somewhat naturally to Shaw: “I’m one of those American do-alls; I own a trucking company, I sell cars. And my dad has a business, my mother has three businesses, my grandparents have businesses, so I’m just following a family tradition. But this one, this is my monkey!

His first step was to find the right hovercraft. “I really didn’t know where to go when I decided to do it, so I went on the Internet. I called Neoteric because it seems to be the best on the market and because the Hoverclub of America recommended Neoteric,” he explained.

His first business expense was a bargain – he bought a pre-owned 6-passenger Neoteric HoverTrek™. And when he came to pick it up in July, he arranged to take a training course on it at Hovercraft Training Centers. “I came up here because I really need the training. I wouldn’t want to take the craft out with a bunch of people on it and think I can handle it then have someone get hurt,” he explained. “It’s one thing to watch it in a video, but it’s another to actually see it in action. You can’t judge speed, you can’t judge maneuverability from a video – you have to see it first-hand. You know, I’m willing to invest probably half a million dollars in this project and I won’t do it unless I know for sure that I’m ready to go.”

Shaw is a “ready to go” kind of guy, who approached his training with enthusiasm. “I have a 700 hp 370Z, a 500 hp G37 Infiniti, a lifted F150 for mud, ATVs … give me an engine and a steering wheel and I’ll take it on!” he said. Better add rotors and rudders to that, because he's also a licensed helicopter pilot and boat captain!

Enjoy a few photos of Shaw making sure he’s ready to go as he takes on his training day in his new hovercraft …

After a morning of classroom instruction, Shaw learns to conduct a preflight inspection and fuels his hovercraft for his first training flight session on the Wabash River.

Wearing wireless headsets for continuous instruction, Shaw is all smiles as Instructor Chris Fitzgerald prepares to launch Shaw’s hovercraft.

Chris Fitzgerald demonstrates the floating stability of the Neoteric HoverTrek™.

Shaw gets a thumbs up from Chris Fitzgerald as he flies his hovercraft on his own.
So, after all his experience with other vehicles, how did Shaw feel about flying a hovercraft? “I’ve been smiles all the way back! This is a dream, you know? And to possibly make money with it is a whole new ballgame. It was really fun and educational and worth every penny to come up here and do it,” he said, “I think it’s going to be exactly what I’m looking for.”

He continued, “To be honest, I’m a big guy and not a lot of things get up and move with me in them, and I was expecting a little bit of a struggle, but I was surprised at how much power it had. But you need the training. Without it, you could hurt yourself or cause thousands of dollars of damage or hurt someone else. If you don’t train, you’ll be sorry later.”

Four months later, Shaw’s training has paid off and his dream has become a reality – with his new tourism business, Southern Hovercraft. Here he is, entertaining tourists in his newly vinyl-wrapped Neoteric hovercraft …

Follow Southern Hovercraft on Facebook …

and see if a hovercraft could make your dream a reality: 
Take a Training Course at HTC!