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The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

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To Echo the above comments and to add further clarification, I was gobsmacked when I read the quote.

 

Knotts were waiting for clarification of the maintenance (either monthly or every 6 months), Even at worst any person with half an ounce of common sense would have at the very minimum inspected the cable at the 6 monthly marker after not hearing back from Intamin, so how come the cable snapped after almost 7 months and had not been inspected? Sounds like the fault lies entirely with Knotts and not Intamin, I don't think a court in the land would prosecute Intamin!

 

For example, if your Car manufacturer states that your cam-belt must be changed at 75,000 miles and you wait until 80,000 miles and it snaps causing irreversible damage to your car, you cannot claim against the manufacturer, it is your own stupid fault for taking a chance.

 

This is what it would appear Knotts have done, they have taken a chance with a part that should have been replaced and it was only a matter of time before it snapped, whether it had been during a test run or with a full train (as it was unfortunately).

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If the state found that the cable had some defect prior to snapping they can place blame on Intamin. To play this out, lets say that there was a problem with the metallurgical structure of the cable, something that was a manufacturing defect that existed the entire time. Well it is possible that had KBF done a proper inspection they would have caught it (but maybe not) and been able to remedy the problem. However the fact remains that the cable had a problem when it left the manufacturer. So basically from the point of view of the State in that situation, yes KBF should have inspected and would have hopefully found any visible problems with the cable, but the fact remains that the cable itself was defective from the beginning.

 

Depending on the exact facts of the case I really do think both Knotts and Intamin can be held liable.

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Expedition GeForce and Millennium Force both snapped lift cables last year. One would assume Intamin uses the same vendor for their cables so that right there tells you that it was a defective batch of cables.

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Im surprised that the cable wasn't inspected every morning before opening. Xcelerator usually goes through a more rigorous opening procedure than the others because of the nature of the launch system. Why inspect the cable every month when it could be easily done in 30 min before the ride opens in the morning.

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Im surprised that the cable wasn't inspected every morning before opening. Xcelerator usually goes through a more rigorous opening procedure than the others because of the nature of the launch system. Why inspect the cable every month when it could be easily done in 30 min before the ride opens in the morning.

 

But do you know what type of inspection they are talking about? It might be more than a simple look at the cable that requires a decent amount of time.

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But then again, it is still closed according to the website.

 

I just checked the website. The Xcelerator closure dates which were there yesterday have been removed.

 

To austinlee: You didn't ride Pony Express?

 

But you got so many rides on GhostRider...it must be running fairly well then because normally it can beat you up pretty well.

 

You must have seen my signature. No, I didn't ride Pony Express and I'm severely disappointed about that. Seriously though, I did walk back there and check on it. Even though I don't like it very much I would have rode it once or twice if it had been open. After all it is a coaster and I will ride just about anything if the wait is short enough.

 

As long I don't sit in the back I don't have any problems on GhostRider. I sat in the first five cars, between row 3 and row 10 each time, and had no issues. The ride is still rough, but as long as I avoid the back, I find it to be intense but not painful.

 

A ride op on GhostRider thanked me for fastening the seat belt around the lap restraint in the seat next to me for her.

 

I usually get dirty looks when I do that. One time an Operator even went as far as to tell me to stop doing his job.

 

Wow, that's surprising. I have been doing that on GhostRider for years now. Nobody has ever given me a dirty look or said not to do that. They have always either said nothing or thanked me for it.

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Thats a good point. Using the car scenario, you can inspect your belts, but even if they look good, no cracks etc., they can still snap. One aspect i think we are forgetting is that, it was time for inspecting, not replacement. So conceivably even if they didn't miss the 6 month, they could have inspected the cable, found no flaws and still had a failure. If in fact the cable had a defect.

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Given the multiple cable breaks in the last 5 years, I am still flabber-ghasted that so much time is spend finger pointing. Why doesn't someone just come up with some sort of shield/housing for the cable so that in the event it does break, it stays confined to the housing and doesn't whip up/around and hit riders in the face/legs/feet/wherever.

 

This concept is in no way complicated. I just don't understand why it hasn't been designed and implemented.

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^Maybe you should contact the cable vendor and help them implement it. JK

In all seriousness I get what you are saying but those steel cables are very powerful and probably would tear through any type of "shield/housing" they are put in.

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Expedition GeForce and Millennium Force both snapped lift cables last year. One would assume Intamin uses the same vendor for their cables so that right there tells you that it was a defective batch of cables.

 

"A Defective Batch of cables???" Like as though they were making a batch of Banana Nut Muffin Cake Mix and left out an ingredient or something???

 

Now, I'm not an expert in the field of engineering or ride maintenance (and I'm assuming neither are you, correct?) but using some basic common sense and given that there are a *LOT* more rides out there with cables than there are incidents of cables breaking leads me to believe there is NOT a 'batch of defective cables' and probably more likely some defective or possibly understaffed maintenance crews.

 

Just think about the thousands of rides out there in the world that use cables to move riders around. Heck, some drop towers use 6 cables for just one tower! Then think about the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of cycles those rides alll over the world do each year... carrying literally MILLIONS of riders. Knott's Berry Farm alone uses cable systems on at least 5 rides (Xcelerator, Pony Express, Montezoomas, Boomerang, and Supreme Scream.) And how often do you hear of a "cable snap incident?" A couple times a year at the most? And how often do we hear of one that injurs someone? Once every 5 years...maybe? And haven't most of the times we've heard about this it's been discovered to be faulty maintenance? (SFKK comes to mind...)

 

I think before you go assuming that there are tons of "defective cables" floating all over the world just waiting for an accident to happen, have a little more insight as to what you're talking about.

 

"A batch of defective cables!" "Uh, oh...we forgot that magic non-snapping ingredient in those last 250 cables we made! Oh noes! They've already been shipped out!!! Don't tell anyone...maybe it will go unnoticed!"

 

Im surprised that the cable wasn't inspected every morning before opening. Xcelerator usually goes through a more rigorous opening procedure than the others because of the nature of the launch system. Why inspect the cable every month when it could be easily done in 30 min before the ride opens in the morning.

Can you please quote your experience in working with inspecting cables on roller coasters that leads you to believe it could be "easily done in 30 min before the ride opens in the morning?"

 

I'm anxious to hear your insight on this since you appear to have some knowledge that perhaps would be entertaining for Knotts' maintenance crews to hear.

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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3 cables from the same vendor snapping/breaking in 1 year is more than a coincidence. That's all I'm saying.

Can you please provide us with the documentation you seem to have access to that tells us that all three of those cables were in fact purchased from the same vendor?

 

Because obviously you know more than anyone else...even the park...and probably even Intamin...and it's vendors.

 

I think you should probably alert the media to this.

 

AMAZING FIND!

 

You're a hero...really, you are...

 

Your amazing discovery has stopped incidents like these from happening with Intamin supplied cables all over the world....

 

The Intamin Cable just jumped off the shelf and started trying to murder people!!!

 

After I threw the cable down the the floor it made it's way over to KT and tried to use her iPod, she would have none of this of course and chucked the cable back to the ground.

 

While on the ground, Domo came over to try and catch the cable, but it quickly snapped and headed in the other direction.

 

It then tried to find an easier target, a sleeping Robb!! Oh no!! I hope someone (or something) comes quick to help!

 

Thank goodness! Mr. Shark comes just in time to take care of that troublesome Intamin Cable for good!

 

--Robb "It really annoys me when people try to pretend like they REALLY know what they are talking about, but really, they don't got a f**king clue..." Alvey

 

ps. I thought this was a totally appropriate time to bring up these photos Elissa posted a while ago...

Edited by robbalvey
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Im surprised that the cable wasn't inspected every morning before opening. Xcelerator usually goes through a more rigorous opening procedure than the others because of the nature of the launch system. Why inspect the cable every month when it could be easily done in 30 min before the ride opens in the morning.

 

Are you going to inspect over 400 feet of cable in 30 minutes?

 

Robb: I'm not saying that I know more than anyone else nor am I an engineer by any means. My apologies if it came out that way.

 

Moving on.....Glad Xcel is back in operation.

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Just for clarification: Intamin is not the vendor of the cables. The cables can come from just about any cable vendor. Intamin simply makes the recommendation of what type/strength/etc cable must be used in each application. They do not manufacture the cables themselves. Case in point is the attached receipt for the cables that broke at SFKK. (The complete case findings and discovery documents were made public after it was settled. You can look at everything here.) If you'll notice, not only was the vendor not Intamin, but the vendor even changed as indicated by the scribbled out section on page two. Just want to give peeps the facts.

SFKKappendix27.pdf

SFKK Tower Cable Receipt

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Just for clarification: Intamin is not the vendor of the cables.

And just in case that was directed towards me because of my "Intamin cable update"...yes, I'm well aware of this. I was just saying "Intamin Cable" as part of the joke and ease of explanation.

 

--Robb

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Just for clarification: Intamin is not the vendor of the cables.

And just in case that was directed towards me because of my "Intamin cable update"...yes, I'm well aware of this. I was just saying "Intamin Cable" as part of the joke and ease of explanation.

 

--Robb

 

I LOVE it! The Intamin cable attacks again!! Ahhh!!!

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I wouldn't think of this situation as necessarily being a defective batch of cables, but I stand by the fact that there might have been something that occurred during the manufacturing process that cause this particular cable to have a problem. Now of course I have no evidence of this in any way, just trying to give a plausible reason for why Intamin might have been held to be jointly at fault in the situation.

 

As a side question because I'm curious, does Knott's order the cable directly from the vendor (whom I believe is Otis) or rather do they order the cable through Intamin itself? Additionally is the the original cable on the coaster or has it been replaced in the past?

 

As a disclaimer, I'm not claiming to know a thing about the science of making steel cable, I'm looking at this from a Products Liability stand point, trying to figure out what fault Intamin (or even Knotts) could have possibly had in the situation.

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I just really don't understand why so many people in this thread are trying to blame the "faulty cable" or the "defective cable" or "trying to put blame on the cable manufacturer" when that wasn't even something that was mentioned in the report!

 

No where has ANYONE or ANY STORY even removely mentioned that the cable was bad.

 

Where did this notion come from? I'll tell you where... it came from TPR readers! Yes, it's totally true! The main topic of the last few pages of this thread have been totally made up by members of this forum!

 

Not from any news source.

 

Not from any report whatsoever.

 

And doesn't contain an ounce of truth or reality.

 

The ONLY PLACE where a "faulty cable" or the name of the cable vendor or any blame put on the vendor of the cable AT ALL has been reported is...guess where? Theme Park Review!

 

And you know what? I find that really embarassing.

 

I'm going to quote the article once again so that you all can focus on reality and maybe start to discuss things that were actually noted by the state inspection instead of just making up your own fantasyland version of the report and putting blame on companies or materials not even mentioned in the real reports....

 

http://ocresort.freedomblogging.com/2010/04/26/state-blames-knotts-manufacturer-for-xcelerator-failure/42383/

 

State inspectors say Knott’s Berry Farm could have avoided an accident on the Xcelerator that injured two people last year with more diligent inspections of the ride. At the same time, they say the ride’s manufacturer, Intamin, is equally culpable because the company’s instructions are unclear about whether the ride’s launching cables should be inspected every month, or every six months.

 

In 2007, Knott’s maintenance division asked Intamin to clarify the inspection schedule, but the company never responded, Cal-OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer said.

 

Knott’s was nearly three weeks overdue for a six-month inspection when the cable in question snapped on Sept. 16. The train had just left the loading platform when the cable broke, cutting a 12-year-old boy’s leg. Another man complained of back pain. No one else was hurt in the accident. “If they were on time with that six-month testing, they may have caught that break in the cable” that caused the rupture, Fryer said. “The cable broke from normal wear.”

 

Knott’s spokeswoman Michele Wischmeyer said the park has “worked with the state to rectify any statements and concerns they found. … I am aware of the state report, and I am aware that those two shortcomings are in the report.”

 

Park officials are expected to make a statement about the state’s findings later on Tuesday. State inspectors finished their evaluation of the Xcelerator on Tuesday, meaning Knott’s Berry Farm can restart the attraction at any time.

 

“We do plan on opening (Tuesday),” Wischmeyer said mid-afternoon, “but we haven’t set a time yet.”

 

Here's a few more reports to discuss as well:

 

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/04/inspectors-finds-shortcomings-at-knotts-rollercoaster-allows-it-to-reopen.html

 

State officials have allowed Knotts Berry Farm to reopen the Xcelerator, seven months after an accident injured two riders,.

 

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) performed a final inspection earlier Monday of modifications made by Knott’s to the ride after the Sept. 16 accident and determined the ride was safe to operate, officials said.

 

The state found the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions for the ride confusing, officials said, making it unclear if the cable should be inspected monthly or every six months. Knott’s was inspecting the cable every six months instead of every month as the manufacturer intended, officials said.

 

 

In a statement, the theme park said the state’s report “identified shortcomings in the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the inspection and maintenance of the cable” and that Cal/OSHA had “required Knott’s Berry Farm to put into place additional safeguards to determine cable viability and to work with the manufacturer to revise maintenance instructions.”

 

“Ride safety is our highest concern at all times,” said Knott’s spokeswoman Michele Wischmeyer.

 

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_14963610?nclick_check=1

BUENA PARK, Calif.—State inspectors say a rollercoaster accident at Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County could have been avoided if the ride had been inspected more often.

California Occupational Safety and Health says the manufacturer of the Xcelerator, Intamin, is also to blame because it didn't explain how often the ride's launching cables should be inspected.

 

Cal-OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer says Knott's tried to clarify the inspection schedule, but Intamin never responded.

 

Last September, a cable on the steel rollercoaster snapped and cut a 12-year-old boy's leg. Another man complained of back pain. At the time, the ride was three weeks overdue for its six-month inspection.

 

Knott's spokeswoman Michele Wischmeyer says the park will address the state's concerns and comment further on Tuesday.

 

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/04/knotts-coaster-accident-blamed-on-inadequate-maintenance-state-says.html

 

A state investigation found that a 2009 roller coaster accident that injured two riders at Knott's Berry Farm could have been prevented with proper maintenance, casting blame on both the theme park and the ride manufacturer.

 

Xcelerator, a $13-million, hydraulic-launch accelerator coaster that opened at the Buena Park theme park in 2002, reopened Monday evening after Knott's made modifications required by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

 

In a statement, the theme park said the state’s report “identified shortcomings in the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the inspection and maintenance of the cable” and that the state agency had “required Knott’s Berry Farm to put into place additional safeguards to determine cable viability and to work with the manufacturer to revise maintenance instructions.”

 

The dramatic accident on Sept. 16 -- which left a 12-year-old boy with a cut leg and a man with back injuries -- was captured by an onboard video camera.

 

In the video, viewed more than 100,000 times on YouTube, a blast of debris sprayed riders as a cable snapped loose during the zero-to-80 mph hydraulic launch up the distinctive 205-foot-tall top hat element. As the train descended back toward the station, frantic riders tried to free themselves from the smoking coaster.

 

Cal-OSHA found fault with both Knott's and the ride manufacturer, Switzerland-based Intamin AG, said agency spokesman Dean Fryer.

 

The state found the manufacturer's maintenance instructions for the ride confusing, Fryer said, making it unclear if the cable should be inspected monthly or every six months. Knott's was inspecting the cable every six months instead of every month as the manufacturer intended, Fryer said.

 

An Intamin spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

 

The state also said Knott's was 19 days late on the six-month cable inspection at the time of the accident, Fryer said.

 

A similar accident involving an Intamin coaster occurred in 2004 at Knott's sister park, Cedar Point in Ohio, when metal debris from a launch cable struck four riders on the 420-foot-tall Top Thrill Dragster.

 

The Xcelerator accident was the second major incident at Knott's involving an Intamin ride. In 2001, a 40-year-old woman fatally fell from the Perilous Plunge water ride built by Intamin.

 

See, in none of these articles.... not a one, does it even mention ANYTHING about a faulty cable or that the vendor of the cable had rouge defects infiltrating parks rides.

 

Personally, it just makes Theme Park Review look bad when we all start doing this and gives us ZERO credibilty.

 

So please, try to use ACTUAL REAL INFORMATION to forumate your discussions, not made up, frabricated fictional stores.

 

Thank you for your understanding...

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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Robb I fully apologize, I admittedly quickly skimmed over the article and never took the time to click the link like I should have. That clearly lays out why Intamin was liable which is what I was trying to guess at. I really do attempt to make thoughtful posts on this site, and hate making obvious oversights like this. Now onto other matters...

 

I would at this point however be interested to know what Intamin instructs were here. You would think after the SFKK incident they would be pretty clear in regards to inspection! However it seems like if there was any question between monthly inspection and inspections every 6 months, the park should have erred on the side of safety.

 

The state found the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions for the ride confusing, officials said, making it unclear if the cable should be inspected monthly or every six months. Knott’s was inspecting the cable every six months instead of every month as the manufacturer intended, officials said.

 

I look at that statement and am confused by it. So as I read this Intamin wanted monthly inspections. Knotts was inspecting every 6 months. Ok I get that it was confusing and that Knotts was unclear as to if inspections should occur on a monthly basis or once every 6 months. However the article says:

 

Knott’s was nearly three weeks overdue for a six-month inspection when the cable in question snapped on Sept. 16.

 

So doesn't this mean that it is a moot issue? Even if Knotts was wrong and was inspecting every six months, they were still 3 weeks behind. I simply don't see an excuse for that additional three week period that the park did not inspect the cable.

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Actually, all the speculations started after, people started saying they couldn't understand how they could find any fault with intamin. Seeing what you just posted its clear that it was concerning the inspection schedule. Which, as i stated before, perhaps if the cable had been inspected every month instead of every six months some flaw may have been detected earlier. Yes, Knott's was late. Yes, they are at fault. But what if this had happened three months after an inspection, because it wasn't inspected on a monthly basis. Yes, its hypothetical, but all the intamin fans won't accept that there could be any blame on the company. If this was vekoma people would have had a field day making jokes. And as far as a faulty cable, the cable was replaced sometime around december 08 and as far as i know its replaced yearly, i could be wrong. The ride was down long periods of time right before this incident. Allot of parts on the launch system were replaced, etc.. The bottom line is that there is speculation about the cable simply because its the part of the ride that broke. Now i have another theory, but since this has turned into a pissing match ill keep them to my self.

 

In a related note, a bag of Entenmann donuts snapped and flew into my mouth ruining my diet, leaving powdered sugar everywhere. There is no video of the incident.

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