27 March, 2014

Neoteric Hovercraft aid Washington mudslide search & rescue efforts

Our thoughts are with the people of Oso, Washington, and with the first responders assisting them after the massive mudslide that devastated the community on Saturday. Thankfully, Snohomish County Fire District’s two Neoteric rescue hovercraft are on the scene to help first responders navigate the dismal search conditions.


The square-mile debris field, 30-40 feet deep in places and contaminated with bacteria and chemicals, has been described as “quicksand-like muck, rain-slickened mud and ice”, making it difficult to navigate on foot and near impossible to bring in heavy equipment. When the 20-foot wall of mud collapsed, trees that were 50-60 feet tall were tossed like toothpicks and thrown hundreds of yards.

Even rescuers are having to be rescued: firefighters who waded into the mud became stuck up to their armpits and had to be pulled out by ropes. As Senator Patty Murray stated, “People are putting their own lives at risk in the search and rescue.

Fortunately, the hovercraft are able to access areas no other vehicle can reach – and they’re keeping the first responders above the danger rather than mired within it.

(SeattlePI/Joshua Trujillo)


The death toll has now reached 24, and scores of victims are still missing. But hopes for finding survivors have faded and the mission is now considered a recovery operation rather than a rescue. “The situation is very grim,” said Chief Travis Hots of Snohomish County Fire District 21, “The mud is so compressed in houses that it’s like concrete.”

(Associated Press/Rick Wilking)

Aerial view of mudslide. Associate Press/Ted S. Warren)
In addition to the hovercraft, helicopters, search dogs, sonar and technical teams are being used to search for victims. And yesterday, two Washington National Guard Blackhawk helicopters arrived to assist. But Bill Quistorf, chief pilot for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, said “The Blackhawks’ sole mission is body removal.”

Even though the news reports that it would be a miracle to find survivors at this point, we at Neoteric send our hopes that just such a miracle will occur – regardless of the rescue vehicle that performs it.




25 March, 2014

Hover like Bubba – HoverGolf Cart or not!

We’ve all seen Bubba’s Hover. But you don’t necessarily need a hovercraft golf cart per se to hover like Bubba – any Neoteric Hovercraft model will do.

And every golf game, every event - in fact, every day - is more spectacular when you have a hovercraft. For instance, watch Gary Meyers take a spin in his Neoteric HoverTrek, and attract the usual attention, at the Refuge Golf & Country Club’s Wine Festival in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. As one spectator observed, “You’re not a golf course until you have a hovercraft!” ...





Why did Gary Meyers buy a hovercraft? Here’s why …

Want to try one out yourself? Take a Test Flight …






20 March, 2014

NOW ON SALE: New and used hovercraft at discounted prices!

Have you always wanted a recreational hovercraft, but think you can’t afford one? Are you a first responder who wishes your department had a rescue hovercraft, but the funding isn’t available? Do you own a business that could use a hovercraft – and benefit from a wave of publicity like Bubba’s Hover?

Well, if cost is a concern, here’s the place to start. The Neoteric Hovercraft Trade-In Showroom  lets you save money and buy a hovercraft at a discount price. We offer a variety of new and pre-owned hovercraft that we’ve used for demos or promotions or that our customers have traded in to buy a new hovercraft.

Here’s a quick preview of some of the hovercraft now on sale …

NEW Neoteric 6-passenger Deluxe Recreational Hovercraft
Here’s your chance for fun with family and friends in places no other recreational vehicle can take you. This brand new hovercraft has only 10 hours of use. Live near the ocean? No problem! This hovercraft is specially equipped to fly on fresh or saltwater. Check out the discount price …


NEW Neoteric 6-Passenger Rescue Hovercraft
First responders, here’s how you can perform faster and safer ice, mud and water rescue operations. This fully-equipped rescue vehicle has a radio, PA system, siren, searchlight and a stretcher mount – and it can be used on fresh or saltwater. Look at this affordable way to keep your team above the danger, not in it …


Hovertechnics Hoverstar Sportsman Hovercraft Trade-in 
Here’s a real deal on a personal hovercraft! This Hovertechnics model was traded in by a customer who bought a new Neoteric craft. You won’t believe this low price …


Get full details on these and other discount hovercraft: See our Trade-In Showroom

And you can fly before you buy! Take a Test Flight ...



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?




18 March, 2014

Hovercraft: new flexibility for Wilderness Place Lodge

Wilderness Place Lodge in Lake Creek, Alaska has the honor of being one of the top five salmon and trout fishing lodges in the state. But in their quest to be the best, co-owners Cory Wendt of Madison Wisconsin and Jason Rockvam of Clancy, Montana found a way to make it even better. That’s what led them to Neoteric and Hovercraft Training Centers.

The Lodge, located on Lake Creek River, offers some of the finest spin and fly fishing in Alaska. But the river and its surrounding streams have gravel bars, pinched-off oxbow backwaters, shallow areas and midstream islands – areas that boats and other vehicles can’t reach. And, as Cory says, “If one point is an impasse for our guests, it spoils the trip.”

To overcome these limitations, Cory and Jason explored their options and decided to add hovercraft to their fleet of 18-foot boats. But why hovercraft rather than other vehicles, such as airboats? “I don’t think airboats are that great. We wouldn’t use one. Our guests wouldn’t come; it would be too loud. They come up to get away from everything and airboats are just deafeningly loud,” Cory explains. “A hovercraft is the practical tool to get us from point A to point B.

To determine whether 4-passenger or 6-passenger hovercraft would work best for them, Cory took advantage of our Fly Before You Buy opportunity and came to us for Test Flights on Neoteric craft at Hovercraft Training Centers.

After his Test Flight on a 6-passenger craft, Cory (center) and his father Bob Wendt (right) board a 4-passenger Neoteric HoverTrek for their flight on the Wabash River with HTC instructor Steve Stafford (left)

And they’re off – joining a 6-passenger HoverTrek giving a Test Flight to a different group …

Before landing onto the boat ramp, Steve gives a final demo of how the Neoteric reverse thrust gives our hovercraft their extreme maneuverability. (And no, he didn't lose a passenger on the river! The two Test Flights in progress switched passengers downstream.) …

After touring the Neoteric factory and taking two Test Flights, during which Cory had the opportunity to take the controls, he was impressed with the flexibility of the HoverTrek. “It was smoother than I expected. I didn’t expect it to be able to go through all the mud and sticks. I figured all those sticks would break up the air flow, but they didn’t.” And it was certainly quieter than an airboat!

And he quickly grasped the importance of training. “I didn’t fully have an appreciation until I drove it; it started to feel more like an aircraft. I could understand why training is important – I’d read it and heard it but didn’t really appreciate it until I was at the controls.”

The season opens in June at Wilderness Place Lodge. And whether they’ll be flying with 4 passengers or 6 passengers, the guests will enjoy something new and exciting this year – a Neoteric hovercraft to easily take them wherever they want to go.

And the staff will enjoy the added convenience and safety. Currently they have to run boats to a village 25 miles away just to pick up their mail. And since they also operate as rescuers if there's an incident, a hovercraft will serve them well. He and his guests will feel much more secure with a Neoteric hovercraft - used by first responders throughout the world - on hand for safe and rapid rescue operations.



Learn more about Hovercraft Test Flights






12 March, 2014

U.S. Navy LCAC Craftmasters Evaluate Training on Neoteric Hovercraft

Hovercraft Training Centers, which trains exclusively on Neoteric hovercraft, is investigating the possibility of the U.S. Navy using Neoteric craft for initial pilot training for LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion) and the new generation of SSCs (Ship-to-Shore Connectors.)

Currently, LCAC Craftmasters are trained using simulators, following by final training in actual LCACs; from what we are told this is a costly protocol with low retention rates. According to information gathered from the Navy’s Virginia Beach hovercraft training base, it costs the military approximately $200,000 per trainee. Each trainee spends approximately 100 hours in simulators, which cost $800 per hour to operate. Trainer LCACs operate about 150 hours per year, which costs $7,800 per hour. And the current dropout rates for Craftmasters, Engineers, Navigators, and Loadmasters ranges from 15% to 65%.

Last spring, Neoteric President and HTC founder Chris Fitzgerald was invited to the U.S. Navy Assault Craft Unit 4 in Virginia Beach, where half the Navy’s fleet of 72 LCACs are based. There, he visited with Craftmaster Trainers Andy Sutter and Dave Convery to study and learn about the LCAC training protocol and to determine if HTC could assist in improving the current program. He also had the opportunity to operate a simulator and to pilot a 100-ton, $22 million LCAC - with no previous training other than his experience piloting light hovercraft. After his flight, Fitzgerald observed, “I found it relatively easy, and that was with no advance instruction. I had no trouble getting over the hump, operating in a straight line, turning, modulating speed, stopping. I attribute that to my experience piloting smaller light hovercraft; it was pretty much second nature.

Fitzgerald’s visit to ACU4 confirmed his theory that light hovercraft could benefit the Navy’s LCAC training program. In contrast to the Navy’s protocol, military aircraft pilots are initially trained in light aircraft, then move directly to heavy aircraft. Following this protocol and using light hovercraft for initial LCAC/SSC training is likely to be a much more efficient and cost-effective method.

As the next step in this exploratory mission, Craftmaster Trainers Andy Sutter (now retired) and Dave Convery traveled to Neoteric and HTC headquarters to undergo a Standard Training Course in order to judge and advise whether or not light hovercraft could be applicable to heavy hovercraft training. First, they underwent classroom and maintenance training, after which Convery observed, “Compared to ours, light hovercraft are nothing maintenance-wise.”

Here are a few photos from their training course …

Chris Fitzgerald (center) leads Andy Sutter (left) and Dave Convery (right) through a preflight inspection on an HTC Neoteric training hovercraft …

With a thumbs-up, Sutter takes off on his first flight in a light hovercraft, with Chris Fitzgerald at the controls …

Through wireless headsets, each Craftmaster listens to the other’s entire flight training session. Here, Convery listens to Sutter’s flight …

Sutter takes the controls, while Fitzgerald provides constant feedback and instruction …

The Neoteric Hovercraft’s reverse thrust system caught Sutter’s attention even before his first launch: “I was impressed when Chris spun the craft around and backed it up to the trailer.” Here, he learns to operate it himself …

At the end of his flight training session, Sutter easily transitions the craft from water to the boat ramp …

Dave Convery (left) and Andy Sutter (right) accept their HTC Pilot Certifications from Chris Fitzgerald …

Both Craftmasters felt that their day of training was productive and that it enabled them to experience the differences – and many similarities – between light hovercraft and heavy military hovercraft. “I felt very comfortable; it’s very similar to what we teach. Before I came here I was skeptical that flying this hovercraft could help anyone fly an LCAC. But flying this craft, using the thrust buckets, it does help,” Sutter said.

And Convery agreed, “The training session was excellent. I really enjoyed it and I’m very enthusiastic about what this craft does.” He added, “It’s sensitive; I expected it to be a little more reactive, but not like this. When you put the controls in, you are gone. In that regard, it’s the same as ours. It’s like an air hockey puck. When you push an air hockey puck across the table, it goes until it bounces off something. And that’s what’s going to happen without this training.”

Sutter and Convery's visit solidified the premise that light hovercraft could play a role in the LCAC/SSC training program. Should the U.S. Navy utilize Neoteric Hovercraft and Hovercraft Training Centers to streamline their training protocol, it would improve the cost/benefit ratio of training for the Department of Defense. It would also lower the high attrition rate by serving as an inexpensive way to qualify future LCAC/SSC Craftmasters and Navigators. And, since Neoteric hovercraft easily capture public attention, they're an excellent public relations and marketing tool that would boost the success of the military’s recruiting efforts.


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11 March, 2014

Fire Rescue in Poland impressed by Neoteric Hovercraft

Our dealer in Poland, Michal Przybylski of Tecnotek Polska, is proactively demonstrating the value of the Neoteric Rescue HoverTrek™ in rescue missions to Fire Rescue departments across Poland – and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Here, Michal exhibits the HoverTrek’s capabilities to Fire Rescue (STRAZ) agencies in Bytom, located in southern Poland …

Even before the Tecnotek Polska’s Neoteric Rescue hovercraft is in action, it attracts attention while still on its trailer …

Tecnotek Polska’s 6-passenger Neoteric Rescue HoverTrek™ …

Michal launches the hovercraft to display it in action as an audience gathers …

Of special interest to the first responders was the HoverTrek’s reverse thrust, which allows it to brake, fly backwards and hover in place – making it an exceptional ice and water rescue vehicle …

After seeing the Neoteric hovercraft in action, Fire Rescue officials were eager to get on board and experience a flight of their own …

Michel launches with a first responder on board …

The first responder experiences the unique maneuverability of the Neoteric hovercraft, made possible by its patented reverse thrust system ...

The demo gave first responders a hands-on opportunity to experience how the Neoteric hovercraft outperforms other rescue vehicles …

As always, a Neoteric hovercraft in action draws a large audience …

Michal reports that the feedback he received from this demo is “incredible.” Officials were extremely impressed by the hovercraft’s capabilities, and the attending Fire Rescue departments are in the process of writing grants to help them boost their search and rescue capabilities by purchasing a Neoteric Rescue HoverTrek™.


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08 March, 2014

Sneak preview: Hovertechnics Hovercraft for sale

The owner of a Hovertechnics Hoverstar Sportsman hovercraft has decided to upgrade to a new Neoteric HoverTrek™ and we will be taking his craft as a trade-in. Before the Sportsman goes up in our Trade-In Showroom with full details, we’re giving you a sneak preview with the photos below.

Hovertechnics, Inc. of Michigan USA is a quality manufacturer with 20 years experience. And all trade-in models offered by Neoteric undergo extensive reconditioning to assure you of a top-quality craft.

The specifications for a new model Hoverstar Sportsman can be found here. This pre-owned trade-in is on sale for only $17,000. If you’d like take advantage of this great deal on a recreational hovercraft, just email us at hovermail@neoterichovercraft.com!







If you’re looking for a way to own a hovercraft without breaking your budget,
the Neoteric Trade-In Showroom is the place to start – check in often!





04 March, 2014

Neoteric Hovercraft: Fly before you buy

Because Hovercraft Training Centers conduct all their Training Courses and Test Flights on Neoteric craft, you have the perfect way to find out if a hovercraft is right for you before you commit to buying one. Here’s a perfect example of how that works …

Bill Hopkins, a retiree from Kansas, has been flying most of his life – hang gliders, helicopters, airplanes. “If it’s flyable, I like to fly it,” he says. But when he started building his second aircraft, he learned that because of his asthma he couldn’t renew his pilot’s license. “And my wife told me she’d just as soon I stay on the ground. But I want to stay at least a little bit off the ground,” he explains, “That’s how I came to hovercraft.”

But Bill knew nothing about hovercraft, so his first step was to enroll in a training course at HTC. As this experienced pilot explains, “There’s more to flying than just jumping in the cockpit and taking off … you need somebody to show you how to do it.

Bill Hopkins (left) accepts his Hovercraft Pilot Certification from HTC Senior Instructor Chris Fitzgerald (center). Bill’s friend David Raynolds (right) accompanied him during his training course ...


At the Wabash River training site, Bill learns how to conduct a thorough preflight inspection before launching the hovercraft ...


At the controls, Bill learns every maneuver possible in the hovercraft, including how to get over the hump …


With Chris Fitzgerald providing constant instruction and feedback, Bill learns to operate the Neoteric training hovercraft’s reverse thrust. This patented feature gives all Neoteric hovercraft the unique ability to brake, fly backwards and hover in place …


Bill’s thoughts at the end of his training day? “It went fine, very enjoyable. I didn’t know anything about them, so I learned everything! I might consider buying one with that reverse thrust if you have one here and I could take it home with me.”

He found just what he wanted. Here’s Bill Hopkins’ hovercraft, purchased from our Trade-In Showroom, which he plans to use for lake and river cruising and fishing – and, of course, staying off the ground!



Want to fly before you buy? 
Take a Training Course or Test Flight to see if a hovercraft is right for you!

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