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Aboard the Akutan hovercraft: 'Like a marble on a wok'

Photo provided by HoverLink, LLC

The hovercraft now running from the Aleutian Islands fishing port of Akutan to the new airport 6 miles across Akun Strait has now carried hundreds of passengers and tons of cargo. Pilot Jim Howard tells KUCB that it doesn't "drive" like a boat or a plane -- but despite that, the Aleutians weather is his biggest challenge.

“What it’s like, is you take a Chinese wok, the cooking wok, you turn it upside down, so the round part is up, you put a marble on top of that wok and that is basically what you’re trying to do -- hold that wok so the marble doesn’t fall off. ...

“Being that this is basically a lighter-than-air craft, 10, 15, 20 knots of wind -- which is nothing, flat out nothing to the big boats I used to drive -- 20 knots of wind on this thing is like you being in a tornado on your bicycle.”

Read more at KUCB: Hovercraft running despite challenges



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