When some people retire, they pick up the remote control and that’s it – but not Pete Garland. This retired oil company engineer from Coldspring, Texas was attracted to hovercraft for the same reason he was attracted to the oil business: “It’s interesting – and I look for excitement, adventure.”
Garland is a vehicle connoisseur – he owns jet skis, four wheelers, boats and ATVs – and will soon own a Neoteric hovercraft. But before he placed his order, he signed up for a Hovercraft Training Centers course. “I don’t think you can just toss the keys to your grandkids and say, ‘Here, give it a go’ like you can with jet skis. You’ve got to know what you’re doing. And I’m not sure how you repair these things, so today I’ll learn,” he explained as he began his training.
After a day of maintenance and flight training, Garland accepts his hovercraft certification from Neoteric President / HTC Instructor Chris Fizgerald …
Garland expected that flying a hovercraft would not be like jet skiing: “Directly on water you have a lot of control, but from reading the manual, when you’re floating on air there’s a little more of a control issue.” During his flight training on the Wabash River, however, he was pleased with the exceptional control capabilities its patented reverse thrust system gives the Neoteric Hovertrek™ …
Garland, at 74 years old, describes himself at as “adventurous, outgoing, in good health” - and he adds emphatically, “I’m not too old for this!”
He certainly isn’t. In fact, he’s the perfect example of what Henry Ford – another vehicle connoisseur – had to say: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
And a youthful smile definitely lit up Garland’s face when he learned that Neoteric deducts the
training fee from their hovercraft price for all Hovercraft Training Centers graduates!