Standard Hovercraft Pilot and Maintenance Training Syllabus

Prerequisites: None
Course Length: One day, 10-12 hours
Objectives: Students should understand fundamental principles of flight and master basic hovercraft operation and essential maintenance
Home Study: Students should read the Hovercraft Pilot Training Manual

1. Ground Training(Morning Session)

Welcome Reception

Students will watch a video demonstrating hovercraft function and operation. Instructor will lead a tour of the hovercraft factory (when available), discussing materials, structure, and assembly.

Introduction to Hovercraft

  • The Invention and Evolution of the Hovercraft
  • Water: The Ancient Highway
  • The Evolution of the Hovercraft
  • A Hovercraft by any Other Name (An exploration of hovercraft-type principles in everyday life)
  • Development of the Light Hovercraft Industry

Introduction to Hovercraft Mechanics

  • Lift system
  • Under-hull lift system
  • Thrust system
  • Fuel system
  • Mesh and cleat system
  • Control system
  • Instrumentation system
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Lubrication and cleaning
  • Emissions and control

Introduction to Hovercraft Pilot Training

  • Fundamentals of Flight
  • Newton's Laws of Force and Motion
  • Bernoulli's Principle
  • Lift, thrust, weight and drag
  • Archimedes Principle, lift over water
  • Pre-Operation, Preflight, and Post-flight Inspections
  • Controls and starting procedure
  • Basic Maneuvers
  • Land-to-water transition
  • Hovering forward
  • Sideslipping
  • Stopping
  • Turning
  • Landing
  • Hovering on slopes
  • Plowing in, ditching and scooping
  • Specialty Operation
  • Overload operation
  • Night operation
  • Snow, sand, and freezing rain
  • Dust and sand
  • Operating on partial cushion
  • Types of flexible skirts and skirt wear
  • Rope knot instruction
  • Safety precautions

Introduction to Hovercraft Maintenance and Troubleshooting

  • Pre-operation inspection
  • Five hour inspection
  • Twenty-five hour inspection
  • The Hovercraft Engine: problems, adjustments, and maintenance
  • Skirt repairs
  • Fan and transmission repairs
  • Repairs to controls
  • Reverse thrust system
  • Hovercraft road transport
  • Cleaning and storage

2. Lunch(Provided by Hovercraft Training Centers)

3. Flight Training(Afternoon Session)

Hands-on Land-to-Water Hover Training(Average 2-3 hours). Completion standards require that student demonstrates the following capabilities:

  • Trailer loading/unloading
  • Preflight inspection
  • Skirt repair
  • Getting over hump
  • Adjusting trim on land and water
  • Flying straight
  • Ditching
  • Turning and spinning (180°, 360°, and 720°)
  • Figure 8 turns
  • Sideslipping
  • Shallow water operation(Critical depth)
  • Use of reverse thrust buckets for maneuvering
  • Breaking
  • Hovering in place
  • Reversing
  • Accessing difficult areas
  • Transitions
  • Landing
  • Post-flight inspection

Clean Hovercraft; Check and Inspect Plugs

4. Course Completion

  • Comprehension test and discussion
  • Critique and feedback on Training Course
  • Presentation of Solo Pilot Training Certificate in photo session for Hovercraft Training Centers