24 April, 2012

The danger of counterfeit hovercraft

The phrase “counterfeit goods” usually brings to mind fake designer handbags and knockoffs of expensive wristwatches. In recent years, however, the trafficking of counterfeit goods has expanded to products that threaten consumer health and safety – products such as medications, electrical components, aircraft and automobile parts … and hovercraft.

According to Brett Brenner, President of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, counterfeit products that appear to be exact copies of the genuine article are “the scariest type of counterfeit because the danger is within, and there is nothing on the outside to alert you that there might be a problem.”

Hovercraft manufacturers are increasingly experiencing this type of industrial and economic espionage. The World Hovercraft Organization’s Hovercraft Ripoff Report alerts consumers to counterfeit hovercraft on the market; for instance …
  • Among numerous other offenses, Hi Tech International, S.r.l. of Gorgonzola, Italy posed as a Neoteric dealer then counterfeited the Neoteric Hovertrek™ and its patented components through an illegal process known as “splash molding”. HTI is now marketing these hovercraft copies as their own design.
  • New Zealand’s Pacific Hovercraft NZ Ltd. reports that China Hovercraft Ltd., Shanghai, China (aka Lianyungang Supreme Hovercraft aka Shanghai Supreme Hovercraft) has committed offenses including unlicensed production/sale of counterfeit hovercraft and intellectual property infringement.
Startup companies such as these are threatening consumer safety by marketing these counterfeit hovercraft. As one example, even after their offenses against Neoteric, Hi Tech International, S.r.l. urgently tried to get help from Neoteric’s engineers to solve the problems suffered by HTI’s rescue hovercraft – life-threatening problems such as exploding fans.

Since hovercraft are increasingly utilized in rescue operations, such counterfeit rescue hovercraft pose a serious threat to the lives of first responders and to the lives of those they are tasked to save.

Our advice? Never buy a hovercraft before you thoroughly research companies to be certain you’re purchasing from the original, reputable, experienced manufacturer and not a counterfeiter. Your life could depend upon it.

To read more, or to file a complaint, visit Hovercraft Ripoff Report

14 April, 2012

Hovercraft at play

Whether you spend your leisure time on land, water, ice, snow or sand, a hovercraft is the only vehicle that will fly you across any terrain in any season.
Neoteric customer Dave Reyburn cruises Florida's Suwannee River ...

Here, a Neoteric Hovertrek glides over tall grass on a tidal estuary ...

Neoteric customer Aki Kaisla flies across thin ice and water in his Hovertrek to explore the frozen Sea of Finland ...
Check out a photo gallery of personal hovercraft owners worldwide using their craft for recreational activities ranging from shooting the rapids to ice fishing, fly fishing, beach cruising and more.

Have a question about leisure hovercraft? Just leave a comment!


09 April, 2012

Michigan first responders complete pilot training in their new rescue Hovertrek™

The Norman Township Fire Department’s Assistant Chief Dennis Jolicoeur and Medical First Responder Larry Waligorski traveled to Neoteric’s headquarters on the day before Easter to take delivery of their new craft and complete their hands-on flight training and maintenance certification. The funding for the department’s rescue hovercraft was provided by a grant.
From the left: Instructor Chris Fitzgerald, Medical First Responder Larry Waligorski, Assistant Chief Dennis Jolicoeur and Instructor Steve Stafford prepare to launch two craft on the Wabash River for the first training session.

A volunteer on call department, the Norman Township Fire Department in Wellston, MI provides fire protection and ambulance service to an 80 sq. mile area in Michigan’s Manistee County.

Waligorski explains the department’s need for a hovercraft: “We perform water and ice rescues on the rapidly running, narrow, difficult to access Pine River, with rocks, downed trees and steep banks.”

The Pine River is considered the premier paddle sports venue in the Midwest; it attracts canoers, kayakers, rafters and fishermen from across the nation year-round. The first responders say that one asset of the hovercraft will be to replace, “ice rescues done the old fashioned way: with rope and ice rescue suits.”
Instructor Chris Fitzgerald briefs Jolicoeur and Waligorski and walks them through a preflight inspection of their new hovercraft.
The department had considered purchasing a jet boat, but the problems with that rescue vehicle were quickly made apparent when, during a company demo, rocks in the river caused the jet boat to break down.

After discovering Neoteric Hovercraft online, Norman Township Fire Department personnel visited the Muskegon, Michigan Fire Department, “who had great things to say about their Neoteric craft,” says Jolicoeur.

Steve League, Fire Chief of the North Muskegon Fire Department recently told Neoteric, “Both the North Muskegon and Muskegon Fire Departments use hovercraft for their ice rescue operations. The hovercraft have saved more lives than our engines have. Since 1985, 255 people have been rescued or removed from Muskegon area lakes using hovercraft. 50% would have drowned not having the hovercraft as a safe rescue tool.”

Larry Waligorski (left) begins his hands-on pilot training as instructor Steve Stafford (right) demonstrates the operation of the hovercraft's controls and how to achieve the proper trim.

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03 April, 2012

Hovercraft save lives

First responders worldwide recognize that the hovercraft is the only rescue vehicle able to perform fast, safe rescue operations on swift water, thin or broken ice, flood waters and snow. Because it safely hovers 9 inches above the terrain, a hovercraft keeps the rescue team above the danger – not in it – and gives rescuers access to areas boats and helicopters can't reach.

Have a question about rescue hovercraft? Just post it as a comment.