28 February, 2014

VIDEO: Neoteric Rescue Hovercraft Training in Viet Nam

As Hovercraft Training Centers’ Senior Instructor, Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald is in Hanoi, Viet Nam this week conducting flight and maintenance training for first responders from Viet Nam’s National Department of Rescue and Relief, as well as personnel from Tuyet NGA Co. Ltd.

Two Neoteric Rescue hovercraft were purchased by Tuyet NGA, a security and rescue equipment supplier, which will be used by the National Emergency Response Team – a great asset in a country often beset by monsoons and floods.

Watch a video of Fitzgerald demonstrating the unusual maneuverability the reverse thrust system gives to all Neoteric hovercraft as flight training begins on Suoi Hai Lake at the Emergency Response Training Facility near Hanoi …

20 February, 2014

First responders rely on hovercraft for ice rescues

Ice rescue missions may be at an all-time high this winter. It’s been so cold for so long that the Great Lakes, which hold nearly one-fifth of the surface fresh water in the world, are almost completely covered with ice for the first time in two decades. In spite of the cold, these conditions bring out skaters, snowmobilers and ice fishermen - who regularly fall through thin ice.

Time is of the essence in ice rescues; shock and hypothermia can occur in minutes … and traditional ice rescue techniques simply take too long. And much of the traditional ice rescue equipment, such as inflatable walkways, sleds and ropes, can place first responders in as much danger as the people they’re trying to rescue.

But hovercraft, since they fly nine inches above the surface, keep first responders above the danger. Hovercraft are the only vehicle that can speed easily over thin or broken ice; other rescue vehicles can only be launched on solid ice at least 5 inches thick. And the Neoteric HoverTrek, with its patented reverse thrust that lets it brake and back up, is the most versatile hovercraft available for ice rescue operations.

Neoteric and Hovercraft Training Centers regularly train first responders throughout the world to conduct safe and successful ice rescues. Here are a few photos of a recent ice rescue practice on Lake Monroe, the largest lake in Indiana. With below-freezing temperatures and a lake covered with snow and ice of inconsistent thickness, these were perfect conditions for ice rescue training …

Three Neoteric hovercraft, left to right: Hovercraft Training Centers’ hovercraft, the Hazleton Fire Department’s rescue hovercraft, and flight instructor Steve Stafford’s personal hovercraft are ready to launch on Lake Monroe. 

The lake ice varied from solid to thin and broken – surface conditions that prohibit the use of any other vehicle. 

During the day, the three hovercraft cruised the entire length of the largest lake in Indiana, regardless of ice conditions.

Jeff Splittorf of the Hazleton Fire Department stands aboard the department’s 6-passenger Neoteric rescue hovercraft.

Steve Stafford’s hovercraft with a cabin offered him some protection from the brutal weather. 

The Hazleton Fire Department’s Neoteric hovercraft flies easily across the snow and ice.

Rachel Hyneman of the Hazleton Fire Department felt that braving the cold weather was worth it, making the department even more prepared for successful ice rescues with a professionally trained crew and the most maneuverable hovercraft available.

Would a hovercraft improve your department's rescue capabilities?
Find out with a Test Flight or Training Course

19 February, 2014

Hovercraft: A dog's best friend

Hovercraft not only serve a valuable role in animal rescue – they can also be a source of entertainment for man’s best friend! Enjoy a flight on Lake Havasu in Gary Meyers Neoteric hovercraft with his dog Joey – sporting Mutt Muffs and sunglasses …

Joey enjoys the hovercraft so much, he’s been named the Official Hovercraft Training Centers HoverPup!

Want to enjoy your own hovercraft flight? Here's how ...

17 February, 2014

Neoteric hovercraft rescues three helpless deer

If you haven't already watched the viral video of this touching deer rescue, now's the time to do so. James and Doug Kenison, owners of MedCity Hovercraft in Rochester, Minnesota used their Neoteric Hovertrek to rescue three exhausted deer, stranded on the ice for days on Albert Lea Lake. This father/son rescue mission, captured on their GoPro cameras, is a winter heartwarmer ...

Hovercraft are definite lifesaving assets in winter, especially in areas like Minnesota, "The Land of 10,000 Lakes." As CNN reported, "Hovercraft are kind of a genius idea here ... if you go out there with a snowmobile, you're in trouble - it doesn't hover; it's just a craft." Another journalist correctly observed, "Boats and jet skis are pretty useless on ice and snowmobiles fall through ice if it won't hold their weight. Hovercraft can fly over any surface, so they save many lives. If you fall through the ice, or get sucked into mud or quicksand, better hope someone locally has a hovercraft handy."

After all three deer were safely pulled to shore and returned to the forest, the Kenisons told Neoteric, "The lake wasn't totally frozen and we had to cross three stretches of open water to get to the deer, about three miles. Our Neoteric craft performed really well. Its reverse thrusters gave us the ability to quickly maneuver on the slippery ice; without them the rescue would have taken longer just to get the craft in the right position. And the hovercraft was the best option, due to the ice being thin in some places."

And in closing they added, "It was our honor and privilege to help these wonderful animals."

Leave a comment: How does this compare to other animal rescues you've seen?

More about MedCity Hovercraft

10 February, 2014

Outer Limits Hovercraft Tours: A Level Above

It’s only fitting that the most ‘above and beyond’ hovercraft adventure tours in Florida had their genesis at Neoteric Hovercraft in Terre Haute, Indiana – a city whose motto is “A Level Above.”

After searching for something unique to add to their parasailing and WaveRunner tour business, Ron Michaels and Ryan Peacock, owners of Outer Limits Hovercraft Tours on Marco Island, Florida, decided that a Neoteric hovercraft was the ideal addition. “We were looking for something a bit different. We started looking on the Web and there you guys were – something to offer other than WaveRunners and typical boat rentals,” explains Peacock. So they took a demo ride and quickly decided that a Neoteric craft was their niche.

And there’s nothing typical about their hovercraft. “We came up with an “outer space-ish design and had the craft vinyl heat wrapped.” … 
Capt. Ron Michaels with his Outer Limits 6-passenger Neoteric HoverTrek™.
Why did they choose a Neoteric hovercraft? “We wanted a very specialized craft,” Michaels explains. And after taking a demo ride, then a training course on a Neoteric craft at Hovercraft Training Centers, Peacock said they were most impressed by “the ease of handling the craft. It’s just incredible how there’s no transition; from land to water you don’t feel a thing. It’s amazing!

The maneuverability of these high-tech, lightweight craft allows the captain to fly inches over the surface of water or land,” says Michaels. “Riders are always impressed with the transition as the craft hovers
from water over the sand and back over the water again.”
They were also impressed with the Neoteric hovercraft’s low environmental footprint. “This is a super sensitive environmentally friendly craft. Absolutely no pollutants go into the water and there’s no propeller under the water that could harm marine life. It’s a great way to protect manatees and other animals from getting hit by boats,” says Michaels.

Their decision was certainly based on experience. They both “pretty much eat, sleep and drink watersports.” Michaels is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain with more than 45 years of experience on the water. A Hobie Cat and windsurfer instructor and parasail boat captain, he has also run WaveRunner tours, kayak excursions and boating adventures.

Besides offering 30-minute Hovercraft Thrill Rides and 2-hour Eco Adventure Tours through the scenic Ten Thousand Islands, as Michaels recently told Coastal Breeze News, “We offer a very specialized craft that is the only one of its kind in this area. We encourage enquiries and are able to design private trips. Not many can say they have taken a flight on a hovercraft and we hope to change that. Let us take you to the Outer Limits!

Visit the Outer Limits Hovercraft Tours website
and follow them on Facebook.

What do you think about this unique hovercraft? Leave a comment below!

And why not take your significant other to a level above with a

09 February, 2014

How about a hovercraft joyride for Valentine’s Day?

Here’s a way to let Cupid take flight like never before: Give your significant other the gift of a joyride on a Neoteric Hovercraft – the makers of Bubba Watson’s hovercraft golf cart! This is a chance to hover like Bubba on water and land at the headquarters of Neoteric and Hovercraft Training Centers in Terre Haute, IN.

Here you can learn more about Neoteric Hovercraft from Wealth TV’s Emmy-nominated Jenn Barlow, host of Boys Toys:

Ready to give the most unique Valentine’s Day gift ever? There’s no better way to hover into your lover’s heart than a flight on a Neoteric Hovercraft! Just click below to register and we’ll contact you within 48 hours to schedule the flight for the date of your choice. Then we’ll email you a gift certificate to enclose in your Valentine’s Day card.

07 February, 2014

For ice rescues, “The Neoteric hovercraft – and training - are essential.”

How can a rescue agency determine if a hovercraft would improve their first responders’ rescue capabilities – especially in ice rescues? An excellent way is to take a hovercraft flight training course. That’s exactly what the University of Wisconsin Lifesaving Station decided to do.

The UW Lifesaving Station provides rescue services for more than 40,000 students and the citizens of Madison who frequent the nearby 4-by-5-mile Lake Mendota. But as Supervisor Chris Kleppe explained, “We have no ice rescue capabilities at the Lifesaving Station – none whatsoever. We need to have some way to get out there to someone who might be in trouble – especially the ice fishermen because they have to travel across unsafe ice to get to the safe ice to fish. ATVs won’t do that. Once we saw a fisherman out on a hovercraft - okay, the light went on.

Sean Geib, Assistant Supervisor, added, “We’ve learned there’s no such thing as common water sense. You’d be surprised how many people will walk out onto unsafe ice. There’s no worse feeling than watching somebody fall through the ice and being unable to do anything to help them.” He continued, “We came across the Neoteric website and it seemed like you had the complete package – reverse thrusters, length of time in the industry, etc., so we decided to pursue this.”

But to let them make sure a hovercraft will suit their needs, Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald, also Senior Instructor at Hovercraft Training Centers, urged Sean and Chris to undergo pilot training on a Neoteric hovercraft before they placed their order. They agreed: “We know from just operating our rescue boats that the more training you have, the better you’re equipped to help someone out in emergency situations where your adrenaline is running high. We both also understood that a hovercraft is not a boat; this is something completely outside our realm of knowledge, so we decided it would be both advantageous and fun to get the training.

Their training took place at HTC headquarters in Indiana on a freezing January day – showing them hands-on how well a hovercraft operates on ice. Below, view photos of their flight training, then read what they had to say about their training …

Neoteric President/Senior HTC instructor Chris Fitzgerald (right) shows Sean the easy operation of Neoteric’s specially designed hovercraft trailers, which permit lightning-fast loading and unloading by only one person
in demanding rescue operations - where time is critical.

Chris Kleppe (left) and Sean Geib (right) receive thorough preflight instructions before their first flight training session.

Both trainees and the instructor wear wireless headsets so the trainees receive constant feedback and instruction throughout their flight sessions.

At the controls, Chris Kleppe experiences why a hovercraft is the only vehicle able to safely perform rescues
on thin or broken ice – and prevents first responders from having to enter icy water.

Chris Kleppe learns how to operate the HoverTrek’s reverse thrust system, which makes it
the only hovercraft with the ability to brake, hover in place, and back up at more than 25 mph. 

The HoverTrek’s unusual buoyancy is demonstrated. This buoyancy gives all Neoteric hovercraft  incomparable stability, enabling passengers to move around with danger of the craft tipping – extremely important in rescue operations.

Sean (left) and Chris (right) receive their Hovercraft Pilot & Maintenance Certifications from  Chris Fitzgerald (center).

After their training, we received the following email from Chris Kleppe describing their experience:

We both felt the training was very important. Floating on air is the best way to describe how it felt to me. Certainly the feeling was completely different than any other vehicles that I have piloted. Most surprising was the need to think way ahead of any maneuver that was made. Without the training, I could foresee a future disaster by way of a crash. To anyone trying to pilot the craft with no training I would say, ‘DO NOT DO IT.’ Plain and simple.

The hovercraft would be a useful tool for the Lifesaving Station during the freeze up and thaw out of the lake when the risk of someone going through the unsafe ice is very high. To perform winter lake safety work on Lake Mendota, I feel the Neoteric hovercraft would be essential.”

Learn more about the capabilities of Neoteric Rescue Hovercraft …

Learn more about the UW Lifesaving Station ...

01 February, 2014

First Neoteric Hovercraft Golf Cart in Puerto Rico

Alberto Torruella, an 80-yr-old retired attorney and businessman and former sugar cane farmer, lives on a beach in Puerto Rico. And he comes from an interesting background: “Initially our business was sugar, but my great-grandfather started producing rum. After Prohibition, we set up a distillery and went into the rum business, which was kind of a secondary business at the time.” Alberto’s “secondary business” became the Serralles Distillery, the maker of Don Q Rum - and not only the largest producer of rum in Puerto Rico, but the second largest producer of quality rums in the United States.

After he retired last year, Alberto was “… looking for something to keep me busy. I get the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog and saw your golf cart there and I looked Neoteric up. I didn’t contact Hammacher Schlemmer because I didn’t want to go through an intermediary; I wanted to go to the source.

Alberto wanted a hovercraft to fly him over the beach and sea, but he also had business in mind: “Ten years ago we went into the hotel business; we purchased a hotel and added a golf course. And I thought it would help the golf course. Puerto Rico has 12 or 13 golf courses – lots of competition for attracting golfers – so we can offer rides.”

Before he purchased his HoverGolf Cart, Alberto (left) completed a hovercraft pilot and maintenance course in November at Hovercraft Training Centersto see how it works out, whether I can handle it.” …

Even though Alberto is a pilot and has vast experience operating motorcycles and boats, his training course was his first experience on a hovercraft – and he particularly enjoyed the unique features of the Neoteric craft – such as reverse thrust, which allows the craft to fly backwards, brake and hover in place: “It was very enjoyable – and different. I used to drive motorcycles so I’m used to speed and crazy things – but not this crazy! I mean, you’re going 30 mph and all of a sudden you can spin and go backwards! Being able to fly backwards, etc. – it adds to the fun!

Alberto is eager to introduce his hovercraft to Puerto Rico: “You can use a hovercraft in Puerto Rico all year round. I think Puerto Rico would be a good market for your hovercraft because we have good weather all year round and we have lots of areas where it could be used.

As all you Hoosiers know, the weather in Indiana is not quite as good. But that doesn’t stop Neoteric or our hovercraft! Here are photos of Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald conducting performance testing on Alberto’s craft in January on the icy Wabash River …

Want to take a ride in a hovercraft? Take a Test Flight!