11 September, 2013

Neoteric hovercraft built from kit to serve in rescue missions

Building a hovercraft from a kit is not just a hobbyist activity. Just ask Walt Sitz, an Oregon resident who is building a craft from a Neoteric Partially-Assembled Hovercraft Kit so that he can use it to help others.

Walt has been in the aviation business for 25 years; as President and owner of Eagle Wings, Inc., he performs aircraft maintenance and repair and sells powered parachutes. He also belongs to Crisis Response International, a non-profit organization that provides rescue and relief support to humanitarian missions worldwide.
Walt Sitz prepares for flight training with Hovercraft Training Centers on the Wabash River.
Walt has never considered recreational vehicles as just for pleasure. “From way back I’ve always first thought, ‘How can it be used to help people,’” he says. “Boats, parachutes, snowmobiles, motorcycles, four wheelers – they can all be used to help people. Hovercraft intrigued me because boats can’t get everywhere.”

His interest in hovercraft peaked when he was deployed to New York after Hurricane Sandy: “You can try to row a boat through the flood debris, but if I could deploy with a hovercraft, that’s what would be used. It’s a natural additionI've been watching hovercraft for quite awhile and Neoteric kept coming up as the best one. Your reverse thrust system – you need to have that kind of control.”

What cinched the decision for Walt was Neoteric’s affiliation with Hovercraft Training Centers, which trains exclusively on Neoteric craft; he enrolled in a training course before purchasing his hovercraft kit. “That’s what brought us here – we get to try it out before we buy. I was looking at learning to train other people, too, which I can do here. Training should be the first step in any vehicle. You don’t just jump in a plane and say, ‘I think I can figure it out.’ If you can’t, the alternatives are not good.”

Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald shows Walt how to easily unload a Neoteric hovercraft from its custom trailer.
Chris Fitzgerald has Walt's wife Pat listen to his entire flight training session via wireless headsets.
Walt is an aircraft pilot and owns a Cessna 180 ’55 and a De Havilland Beaver. He rebuilt the Beaver from scratch in less than a year, so he’s a natural for constructing his own hovercraft from a kit. And his project will not only be enjoyed – it will also serve to benefit others.

You don’t have to be an aircraft mechanic, however, to build a Neoteric kit hovercraft. Read the experiences, with step-by-step photos, of others who have constructed their own hovercraft in the Neoteric HoverGarage ...

But first things first: see if a hovercraft is right for you with a Hovercraft Training Centers Test Flight or Training Course ...

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