Comments from Graduates of the Hovercraft Pilot Training & Maintenance Course
“I was expecting that flying the hovercraft would be as easy as driving a car on ice. I had flown a private airplane for years and had watched many YouTube videos of the hovercraft in action so I thought I knew quite a bit. Now I know that it would not be a good idea to self teach yourself. You also need to know the theory on how it works, or else you will be scratching your head wondering what happened.
The training course showed me that flying a hovercraft is not as intuitive as I had expected. Some aspects of piloting the hovercraft were much more challenging while others were easier. For example, on water the hovercraft does not always hover. If the weight balance is off or if the skirt catches water the hovercraft would not rise. It takes power and speed to get over hump and get hovering. After it gets up, the craft slides like wet soap in a bathtub. Even with reduced power the speed can climb unexpectedly.
Slow speed handling was a pleasant surprise. In one maneuver we gently nudged a bridge on a moving river. Controlling the hovercraft was much easier than I expected and very smooth. There are many things to control all at the same time, such as RPM, rudder, reverse thrust and where you put your weight. And you need to be aware of the wind, current and lots of obstacles.”
"A truly original day"
“I thought the training was excellent. I’ve learned a lot from Neoteric, that’s for sure. It was good training."
“I truly enjoyed the day Monday. What a fantastic experience.”
Shelbyville, Indiana USA
"I thought I'd let you know I performed the first "taxi" test of our hybrid airship demonstrator on its four air cushion landing pads. Both Eric and I were in the cockpit when we hovered the aircraft the first time. The training you provided enabled us to understand the sensations around us and gave us a better situational awareness as the systems were energized. With the four vectored propulsors, I skated, sidestepped, backed, and did 180 degree reverses with solid control in 5 knot winds on concrete taxiways and on the runway. The training you provided Tim Blunck and I last June was a tremendous help. I'll see if program management can send you a video clip as soon as it's releasable."
Read the story of Lockheed Martin’s secret “Skunk Works” project
"I really enjoyed the training course. It was very well packaged, intensive and dedicated. I admire so much your entrepreneurial dedication in ascertaining that the practical aspect of the training was mastered by the trainee until you were comfortable with the trainee's ability of comprehension. I liked the detailed history, various aspects of hovercraft operations/improvement over time ... For about two days, I felt like my car was moving sideways. I have adjusted now."
Maple Associates Inc.
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
"Working the headsets was a tremendous help. Hands-on was the best. Most information I've ever gotten on hovercraft."
Chief Donald Stauffer and Township Chief Wallace Shields
Scullville Volunteer Fire Company #3
Egg Harbor Township
Egg Harbor Atlantic County, New Jersey USA
“The training course was geared like flight training: systems, safety and operation.”
“There is no substitute for hands-on training and that was my favorite part. I thought that providing those students waiting to pilot the hovercraft with radios was a great idea. It was very helpful listening to the other operators and instructor, and was a good use of ‘downtime’.”
“Excellent instructor! I liked the explanation of maneuvering and operating procedures.”
"The classroom session reinforced my prior knowledge on the hovercraft principle. Chris was clear and to the point and easy to understand.”
“The first moments of hovering / river entry were exhilarating. I also enjoyed the theory explaining the different types of drag. It was a very positive experience – interesting, exciting.”
“I liked the theory of how hovercraft work and the maintenance instruction and hands-on training were great.”
“Excellent training and excellent hovercraft. The training came from a person who knows what he’s talking about. I also have to say that Neoteric has been a total pleasure to deal with! Thanks to Neoteric for making the whole process of purchasing and training with the hovercraft a total pleasure. Your employees need a pat on the back for producing such a high quality life saving machine!”
“Everything went great on the trip home. The trailer worked perfect. The best trailer I have ever hauled! My son and I really appreciate the time you spent with us in the factory and in flight training. I am looking forward to more experience in my hovercraft. I think the quality of workmanship as well as the engineering in the craft are second to none. Thanks again for a great experience.”
“The training course was structured well - every aspect of the training was complementary to the other. What I liked best were the principles on which hovercraft operate, as explained, and the practical hovercraft piloting experience.”
“I liked learning the theory of the craft and the actual operation, plus the understanding and patience of the instructor. What I liked least was when I almost dumped the instructor overboard!”
“Thanks again for the VERY informative hovercraft pilot training class. It was a pleasure meeting you and obviously you made a real impression on myself and Brandon. I look forward to working with you and relying on your expertise.”
Lt. Brian Ritter and Lt. Brandon Blythe
Wylie Fire Department
Dallas, Texas USA
“Excellent presentation overall. What I liked best about the training was the knowledge of the instructor.”
Battalion Chief Richard Ward
Swiftwater and Dive Recovery Team
Fort Worth Fire Department
Fort Worth, Texas USA
“Chris simulated a wide variety of real-world scenarios.”
“Everyone I met or talked with was knowledgeable, courteous, helpful and very nice to deal with.”
Dr. Wedgbury’s hovercraft was custom-manufactured by Neoteric with a special hand-painted color scheme and fitted with a fold-up duck blind.
“Very comprehensive training! Extremely good quality!”
“I enjoyed the tour of the factory to see the attention to detail and quality of workmanship. Loved the time I had – you and your staff are great!
“The training aids and tour clarified the operation of the machine, which made the theory and classroom work very easy to understand.”