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How do you evacuate a drop tower?


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Well i know that standard procedure at Knotts Says that if the car travels farther than 25 feet up or so on Supreme Scream, we have to call the fire department for evacuation. The cherry picker we have isnt to big.

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99% of all cherry-pickers don't go above the forty metre mark, not only because of safety, but because cherry-pickers (or knuckle-booms or scissor lifts for that matter) just don't have the structural integrity to make it up that high (I'm sure there's some backyard knock-off booms out there which argue otherwise).

 

As for your Ride Trade freefall towers, while they all run off automatic ride cycle programs, many other people have already pretty much summed the entire process up. If the engine clonks out, they just release the gondola from the cable winch car from wherever it stops. If it's the release at fault, they just manually lower both the gondola and the winch back down to the station. If both systems are screwed, you can either prey, or better yet, start the back-up generators. Both good methods.

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The mechanism that operates the release of the 'catch car' is only at the top so to be dropped the car must be at the top. If the cars stop part way up, they are simply hoisted back down, not dropped. Now if there was some serious unexpected "this could never happen in a million years" kind of catastrophic malfunction where the cars have stopped part or all the way up and could not be hoisted down or dropped by the ride itself, then there must be a manual release on the catch to drop the car. But in order to do that the mantenance/rescue people would have to somehow get up to that point. Even if the power was out, with the cars at the top or anywhere else on the tower for that matter, dropping them would still work. They would have to be manually released and would still stop because of the failsafe magnetic braking. I believe the idea also applies to the Intamin giant drop towers too.

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I don't know the answer to this one but I can certainly agree that a cherrypicker is not the way forward, as can be seen on a short video clip at http://www.ebaumsworld.com/2006/07/rollercoastertragedy.html (you will need to scroll down the page to where it says download video)

 

I wouldn't like anyone to view this and be taken by surprise as it is pretty grim, so I'll tell you now what it shows which is a drop tower (I guess about half way down) and stuck. The cherrypicker is in situ and the ride suddenly becomes unstuck and the results are not good. (and I mean tragic)

 

Anyway I hope the clip is actually a 'spoof' as you never can tell for certain with these things, but spoof or not - it's NO to the cherrypicker for me.

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OKay, so its not a "Drop" Tower, but I once watched an evacuation drill for the tower at Sea World Orlando-

 

There is a 2-3 person "bucket" stored at the top which latches on up there. Rescue Dudes climb up the inside of the tower, hook this thing onto the side of the cabin and lower people down outside!

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Why is everyone saying cherry pickers! Have you EVER seen a 200+ foot cherry picker?! NO!

 

Thorpe Park have a contract with a local crane hire company to supply a 200+ foot cherry picker for doing an evac if Stealth ever stalled. Can't remember what the exact response time was but it was something like 90 minutes.

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Why is everyone saying cherry pickers! Have you EVER seen a 200+ foot cherry picker?! NO!

 

Thorpe Park have a contract with a local crane hire company to supply a 200+ foot cherry picker for doing an evac if Stealth ever stalled. Can't remember what the exact response time was but it was something like 90 minutes.

 

thats not too bad! but (this is probably me watching too many films, as usual) if you were to get stuck, couldnt you wobble the train backwards and forewars to get the momentum?

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When the brakes failed on Drop Zone at Carowinds it shut down the ride at the top. I tried to find the report online but can't seem to find it anymore.

 

They basically got a cherry picker or something out there and got them down.

 

I think it took about 2-3 hours.

 

Since then they have changed the braking system and not had the same problem again.

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  • 9 years later...

More thread revives! I keep finding these from ~10 years ago that are actually kind of interesting

 

I don't know if they were around in 2006 or not- how about a Larson Super Shot?

 

The main reason I looked up "evacuate" was actually because I got curious watching TPR's video of Sky Scream at Holiday Park, and was wondering- how would they get the train out if it valleyed on this ride? I guess evacuation would be fairly straightforward, but I wonder how they would hoist that train out of the low spot, considering how steep it is, and with that twist on both sides

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When the brakes failed on Drop Zone at Carowinds it shut down the ride at the top. I tried to find the report online but can't seem to find it anymore.

 

They basically got a cherry picker or something out there and got them down.

 

I think it took about 2-3 hours.

 

Since then they have changed the braking system and not had the same problem again.

 

 

Now they just call over to Windseeker and ask to borrow their instruction manual and their cool new yellow platform.

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Why is everyone saying cherry pickers! Have you EVER seen a 200+ foot cherry picker?! NO!

 

Thorpe Park have a contract with a local crane hire company to supply a 200+ foot cherry picker for doing an evac if Stealth ever stalled. Can't remember what the exact response time was but it was something like 90 minutes.

For stealth, couldn't they simply do something like this?

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If we can't jog the gondola down on our Larson Super Shot, there's multiple ways to bring the guests down, before we resort to using the man lift. Which, btw, our lift does reach the top of the tower. One option is to winch it back down manually. Not easy or fast, but possible. The other option if for whatever reason the failure prevented the drum from spinning, we'd cut the main cable from the bottom of the tower. The brakes are entirely magnetic and will always stop the car before it reaches the ground.

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This isn't for Intamin/Larson drop towers, but I know for S&S towers, if you e-stop the ride, a small bleed valve opens at the top of the tower, and the car lowers /very/ slowly. I'm saying like over the course of 15 minutes.

 

Well, with the Intamin 1st gen. Drop Towerst, it's very easy to evacuate! It only took 10 min from when we left the station till we were back down!

[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be]

 

Having worked on a 1st gen Intamin freefall I can confirm that evacs are very easy (and pretty rare) Usually maintenance is able to move the ride in maintenance mode.

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Has a Hydraulic S&S tower ever had to be evacuated?

 

From what I remember working Supreme Scream, the gondola's can be manually lowered and lifted when in maintenance mode. If that didn't work I think they could physically lower the gondola's by decreasing pressure in the tanks.

 

Drop towers like Lex Luther could be cranked down.

 

In most cases I think using a cherry picker or crane would be the very last option.

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they could physically lower the gondola's by decreasing pressure in the tanks.

Another interesting (if morbid) question- if there is a scenario in which the tanks catastrophically fail, is there a backup brake system on hydraulic (or pneumatic for that matter) towers?

 

And thanks comeagain, I never thought about it but I suppose the Larson towers are pretty much fail safe as far as the car itself goes.

 

 

 

Also, it would be nice if there was a warning posted for videos involving people falling to their deaths- that was a bit shocking and unexpected.

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...Also, it would be nice if there was a warning posted for videos involving people falling to their deaths- that was a bit shocking and unexpected.

 

Truth.

 

As for how you evacuate a drop tower, I think it all comes down to the tower, the park, the situation, and other things involved... But I would think for the most part you wouldn't evac it. To me it seems to dangerous to evac a drop tower. (As was proven by the video mentioned above.) I feel like a parks best bet, as many have said, is to either drop the ride from it's current location, or lower it back down slowly.

 

Here is a video of Drop Tower stuck..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhPw5lDPBwI

 

-and-

 

Here is a video that clearly shows them simply lowering the ride back down after it got stuck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOQvCFN6ScM

 

There are several other videos on YouTube that show drop towers being stuck, and lowered back down. However, I didn't feel like posting all of them. There is even one that is a really crappy video, but it shows Falcons Fury stuck with riders at the top of the tower in the face down position, and it says after being stuck for a while the carriage finally dropped back to the ground.

 

So like I said, I don't think you evacuate a drop tower, I think you either slowly lower the carriage back down, or drop it back down.

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it shows Falcons Fury stuck with riders at the top of the tower in the face down position, and it says after being stuck for a while the carriage finally dropped back to the ground.

That would be really, really unnerving--knowing the tower itself malfunctioned would not make me the most confident hanging against only those restraints, even if I knew they are very unlikely to also malfunction and pop. I'd imagine there would be that nagging thought: could it theoretically happen? There's a first time for everything, as they say.

 

I would not want to be in that position, and I hope reviving this topic hasn't doomed me to that fate...

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That would be really, really unnerving--knowing the tower itself malfunctioned would not make me the most confident hanging against only those restraints, even if I knew they are very unlikely to also malfunction and pop. I'd imagine there would be that nagging thought: could it theoretically happen? There's a first time for everything, as they say.

 

That would be the thought going through the back of my mind too. Even though I know it would be so very extremely unlikely, if not impossible... that wouldn't stop me from freaking out about it the entire time.

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That would be really, really unnerving--knowing the tower itself malfunctioned would not make me the most confident hanging against only those restraints, even if I knew they are very unlikely to also malfunction and pop. I'd imagine there would be that nagging thought: could it theoretically happen? There's a first time for everything, as they say.

 

That would be the thought going through the back of my mind too. Even though I know it would be so very extremely unlikely, if not impossible... that wouldn't stop me from freaking out about it the entire time.

Same here, although I think I'd almost be more afraid simply knowing it was an Intamin tower. I know on B&M rides, it's physically impossible for the safety bar to pop open, unless in the station/manually opened by an employee while evacuating the ride. While other manufacturers probably use a similar design, given Intamin's history of reliability issues, I'd probably begin to worry if I got stuck at the top of FF, or any of their other towers for that matter.

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