Michael Meissner of Glendive, Montana USA recently earned his Class 3 Standard hovercraft pilot certification at Hovercraft Training Centers’ headquarters. After purchasing a used Neoteric hovercraft from a previous owner, he learned to operate it on his own but, once he began the training course, he says he quickly realized the necessity of proper training – especially the classroom portion of the course.
“I’ve always been a technical person and could not go anywhere without the proper theoretical background training,” he says.
Michael Meissner (right) and instructor Chris Fitzgerald are ready for takeoff
on the Wabash River as Michael's flight training begins.
With a long career as an aviation electronics technician in the U.S. Navy and as an analyst for a systems engineering firm affiliated with Navy and Marine Corps aircraft programs, Michael is no stranger to flight … but flying eight inches above the ground is a new experience for him.
“Hovercraft are the ideal recreational watercraft, especially for fishing and nature cruising,” Michael says. He lives near Yellowstone National Park, an area with plentiful rivers and lakes – “the perfect location for hovercraft.” Glendive is located on the Yellowstone River near the North Dakota border, and is known as the Paddlefish and Yellowstone Caviar Capital of the World, attracting more than 3,000 anglers every year.
Michael was surprised to learn that no one in his area owns a hovercraft; he’s proud to be the first and hopes to spread the ‘hover spirit’ in his community.
Michael Meissner (right) receives his Class 3 Standard hovercraft pilot certification from instructor Chris Fitzgerald (left).