16 September, 2010

Hovercraft Pilot Training: Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, Hammond, Louisiana

Chief Deputy Dennis Pevey along with Captains Stuart Murphy and Robert Bel, emergency responders from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office in Hammond, Louisiana, spent two days at Neoteric Hovercraft to complete Neoteric's Class III Hovercraft Pilot Training Course. The Parish purchased a Neoteric partially-assembled rescue hovercraft kit with a Homeland Security grant and the Sheriff's Office has nearly completed final assembly of the craft.

Upon arrival at the Wabash River training site, instructor Chris Fitzgerald (third from left) assists Captain Murphy (second from left) in rolling the hovercraft from its trailer, while Captain Bel (left) and Chief Pevey (right) observe:

Fitzgerald and Bel fuel the hovercraft in preparation for launching on the Wabash River ... while a gaggle of unsuspecting Canada geese feed on the river bank:

Fitzgerald reviews the Hovertrek's operational systems before turning the controls over to Chief Pevey for his practice session on the river:

And now, with Pevey at the controls in this video, the hovercraft glides gracefully through practice maneuvers ... while the Canada geese peacefully observe, which testifies to the fact that the Neoteric craft is the quietest light hovercraft on the market!
video

There are numerous bodies of water in Tangipahoa Parish, including the heavy-current Tangipahoa and Tickfaw Rivers as well as Lakes Ponchartrain and Maurepas, requiring the Sheriff's Office to be well-equipped for rescue operations and towing stranded boaters and fishermen. The Office has at least 8 water rescue vehicles, among them flatboats and an airboat, but the unusual maneuverability of their Neoteric hovercraft will open areas to the first responders that other vehicles can't reach and will save valuable time in reaching victims.

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