18 August, 2011

Recreational hovercraft pilot training

Aspiring pilots from throughout the world recognize that Neoteric’s exclusive Hovercraft Pilot Training Program is the most comprehensive course available. And in addition to first responders and military personnel, recreational hovercrafters also come to Neoteric for quality hovercraft flight training.

Steven McVeety from Perth, Ontario, Canada (left) and Ryan Dagey from Bloomington, Indiana USA (center) exemplify the leisure hovercraft pilots trained by Chris Fitzgerald (right) at Neoteric. Here, Fitzgerald shows Steve and Ryan how to conduct a pre-flight inspection before the Neoteric training craft was launched yesterday on the Wabash River ...
Steve is employed by 3M in Canada as a plant engineer in charge of quality control and safety. Ryan, as President of Dagey Technology Solutions LLC, directs Neoteric's information management needs. Steve is in the process of building his own hovercraft from a kit; Ryan participated in the training course to increase his first-hand familiarity with a client's product.

Below, Fitzgerald describes how Neoteric's patented reverse thrust system makes the Hovertrek the only light hovercraft in the world with effective brakes ... 
Steve has organized power boat events, has raced hydroplanes and go-carts and is a certified scuba diver. He has always had a passion for hovercraft, but his training yesterday is the first time he's ever been aboard a hovercraft in flight - evidenced by his anticipatory smile as Fitzgerald prepares to launch ... 

And they're off ...

Steve wanted to undergo thorough pilot training and says he found, after considerable research, that “The only place to get proper training is here at Neoteric. I’ve really learned a lot ... and the maintenance instruction part of the Training Course has given me ideas that will expedite the building process on my own hovercraft."

At the end of an afternoon on the river, back at Neoteric the two new pilots accept their Class III Hovercraft Pilot Training Certification from Chris Fitzgerald ... 

15 August, 2011

Neoteric hovercraft rescues scores of canoeists

The U.S. Department of the Interior is crediting a Neoteric hovercraft for 17 different water rescue operations in one week on Wisconsin's St. Croix River that brought 98 people to safety. The hovercraft is owned and operated by the St. Croix Tribal Police ...

The National Park Service said the river had risen six feet from rainstorms and "The combination of high water and debris from last month's windstorm made for difficult navigation." Local media reported that it was "treacherous with many downed trees in the riverways, high water levels, and extremely fast and dangerous currents."

These conditions describe a perfect example of a rescue scenario in which a hovercraft may be the only vehicle capable of saving people's lives. St. Croix Tribal Police Chief Frank Taylor pointed out, "Having the hovercraft is a good resource for us to have and this rescue is a prime example of what can happen when agencies work together."
Rangers prepare for night search operations in the St. Croix Tribal Police
Neoteric hovercraft. National Park Service photo.

Sergeant Warren Tuttle and officer Henry Bearheart are the St. Croix Tribal Police hovercraft operators. On August 5 alone, Tuttle and Bearheart rescued 14 campers and two counselors from YMCA Camp St. Croix when the river's high water and fast current swamped their canoes.
 Warren Tuttle (left) and Henry Bearheart (third from left), St. Croix Tribal Police, receive their Hovercraft Pilot Certification from Neoteric president Chris Fitzgerald (second from left)and Neoteric Law Enforcement Liaison Steve Stafford (right).

Chief Taylor told news media, "I can't say enough about Tuttle and Bearheart, who did an outstanding job of recognizing the dangers of the river, and helped save those campers.”

To read full news coverage of the St. Croix Tribal Police hovercraft water rescues, see:


08 August, 2011

White River - Hazleton Fire Department Hovercraft Pilot Training

Firefighters from the White River-Hazleton Volunteer Fire Department, Hazleton, Indiana USA have completed their Class III Hovercraft Pilot Training at Neoteric's headquarters.

Shown here prior to their initial launch on the Wabash River in the department's six-passenger Neoteric Rescue Hovertrek are, clockwise from left: Mark Ellis, Secretary/Treasurer; Mike Ellis, Fire Chief; Capt. Stan Capobianco, Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security, Ret. Terre Haute Fire Department; and Chris Fitzgerald, President of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. ...

The department operates a dive boat, but needed the capabilities of a hovercraft to better serve the Hazleton area. Below, Chris Fitzgerald demonstrates the patented reverse thrust buckets that give Neoteric hovercraft their exceptional maneuverability - a critical asset in rescue operations ...

A day of flight training begins as Mark Ellis and Chris Fitzgerald launch the craft while Chief Ellis and Capt. Capobianco listen to the first session via headsets ...

The White River-Hazleton Volunteer Fire Department protects the main fork of the White River in southern Indiana, which drains approximately 70% of the state. The department also provides mutual aid into the state of Illinois.