19 March, 2014

Dan Brown: “The reverse thrust buckets - no other hovercraft can do that!”

Dan Brown, an optometrist from Olney, IL, isn’t new to hovercraft. He owned the Hovertechnics craft below for 15 years, but hardly used it. “I’d had no training … and I wasn’t that confident in it. I probably flew it only 5 hours or so over the years.” 

And Dan knows his vehicles. He has a Sea-Doo, canoes, a ski boat, and a 20-foot hunting boat. He laughs, “I’ve got 6 car titles, 6 or 7 boat titles – titles everywhere!” But all these vehicles wouldn’t take him everywhere he wants to go. “I wanted something new to play with … something that will let me get out where no one else can,” he says. That’s why he arranged to trade in his Hovertechnics craft for a new custom-color Neoteric HoverTrek:

Dan explains why he chose a Neoteric craft: “I got on the Internet and read about your reverse thrust buckets – and that’s the ticket right there. That’s what sold me. No other hovercraft can do that!

And because he intends for his Neoteric craft to be his new hobby, he also arranged to make sure he knows how to use it – on the day he picked it up, he went through a training course at Hovercraft Training Centers. Watch his flight training launch last Sunday in his new hovercraft …

This was Dan’s first flight in a Neoteric craft; afterward he said, “Compared to my old one, the difference was like night and day! The reverse thrust is definitely a big difference. And this is just a much lighter craft; it doesn’t take as much revving up the engine to get over the hump.

And he really appreciated his training. “I’m glad I trained; I learned a lot. Even if you owned a hovercraft before, you didn’t have one like this. Great day!”  Dan further emphasized the importance of training with a story about the Hovertechnics craft’s previous owner: “With no training, he just jumped in the darn thing and took off … and got thrown out of it! It scared the you-know-what out of him so he got rid of it.

With his new hovercraft and wearing a satisfied smile, Dan (right) accepts his pilot certification from HTC Senior Instructor/Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald.
Dan, a waterfowl hunter, plans to use his hovercraft mainly in winter. “I live on East Fork Lake and when it’s frozen over I have trouble getting to places, to my duck blinds. And winter is when I have the lake to myself. In summer, there are boats everywhere, bass tournaments all the time, water skiers, Sea-Doos – it’s just crazy. When it gets cold, I’ll have the lake to myself. That’s the main thing – I want to be able to get out there when no one else can.

His Neoteric hovercraft will enable him to do just that. And it will let him perform rescues, something else with which he’s no stranger. In 2010 Dan used his Hovertechnics craft for the first time in 6 years to rescue his neighbors’ border collies after they fell through the ice on East Fork Lake. “The Olney Fire Department and nearly 300 people had gathered to save the dogs, which were like children to their owners,” he relates. “The owner was out on a ladder, trying to grab the dogs with extension cords tied together while the firemen were telling him to get out of the icy water. Another person trying to help also fell through the ice. The dogs were just hanging there; they had the look of death in their eyes.

But Dan gave the story a happy ending. “The owner and I flew the hovercraft right up to them, he grabbed them out of the water and I hovered right back into his year where he carried them into his house and started thawing them out in a hot bath.

The rescued dogs, Jenny and Tipper, were lucky to live next door to a hovercraft owner.
After the rescue, the Olney Fire Department made sure to get Dan’s phone number “so if we need you we can call you.”  Those calls may start coming in once they learn that Dan now owns a Neoteric hovercraft, well-known for rescue operations and used by first responders throughout the world.

Interested in a great deal on Dan’s former Hovertechnics hovercraft?

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