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Seemingly "Unsafe" or unusual events on rides


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We all know that rides are extremely safe. However, have you ever had a ride experience that just seemed out of the ordinary and a bit dangerous?

 

-On Mean Streak, despite having checked the belts, my friend's seat belt came undone during the ride.

-On Magnum, we heard thunder one night before a Maverick ride night was scheduled. My friend's excuse was "heat lightning". We go on it, and as we climb the lift, "BOOM". Normal thunder and lightning. We end up getting a trimless ride with lightning around us and a pitch-black Lake Erie. My friend later described the incident as feeling like "a train to death."

-On Kingda Ka (my first ride on it, if I remember correctly), we experienced what seemed to be a block violation. We seemed to advance into the launch position before the next train fully crested the tower. If that train had rolled back, I don't know if there would be anything to stop it, it might have slowly bumped into us. I would imagine it could stop early, but I don't know if there are physical brakes on that segment. Anyways, we launched after a few minutes of waiting.

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Nothing special from me apart from one of my rides on Raptor (CP) when, during the lift, my restraint suddenly unlocked about one click without me even touching it. I just locked it back where it was and I didn't worry that much as I knew it was extremely unlikely it would unlock more than that and, even if it did, Raptor is a ride where you could survive without restraints as it's all positive Gs, so...

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Dragon Khan back in 2007. They were running 3 trains on the day, the ride ops seemed to be having trouble with one of the trains in the station, I was in another train waiting about half way down the ending brake run and the third train was running through the first half of the track. At one point I look around and happen to see the 3rd train sail right through the MCBR and I swear we got a slight nudge from the 3rd train as it came into the end brake run.

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I once rode Toy Story Mania at DCA where the restraint was broken and never latched (and the operator paid not attention and dispatched me that way). Not really unsafe seeing how the ride is really tame. However when I came back to the station I pointed it out to the operator and they immediately removed the car from operation.

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On my first ride on Dr. Doom's Fearfall my restraint popped open when the ride shot to the top of the tower. Luckily the safety belt stayed attached to the restraint or I'm pretty sure I would have flown out of the thing.

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How about all the historic rides we still have here on the German carnival circuit that have no restraints

 

How is that allowed?

 

 

I remember riding Pegasus at Mt. Olympus, and while waiting I cold see the whole structure waiving back and forth. I started to question my judgement in riding this thing.

 

Check this one out-

 

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I think I've written about this before, but I had a weird e-stop on TDS' Journey To Center of The Earth where we obviously came over the hill out of the volcano way too fast and then immediately had the e-stop at the bottom of the drop. I was convinced a car behind us was going to hit us for a bit. Doesn't help they have a sound effect loop of a car going down the hill playing even with the e-stop.

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-On Magnum, we heard thunder one night before a Maverick ride night was scheduled. My friend's excuse was "heat lightning". We go on it, and as we climb the lift, "BOOM". Normal thunder and lightning. We end up getting a trimless ride with lightning around us and a pitch-black Lake Erie. My friend later described the incident as feeling like "a train to death."

 

Did you know that heat lightning, the way most people think of it, is a myth? There's no such thing as lightning in the absence of a thunderstorm. "Heat lightning" is simply lightning that's so far away you can't hear it, since light travels further than sound. Well I thought that was interesting anyway. But yeah, that sounds like a pretty awesome ride. Nothing adds excitement like actual physical danger!

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How is that allowed?

 

The 1920s Musik-Express got its operations permit at a time were restraints were not enforced by law. Even while newer rides needs restraints according to current law the old operations permit contunues to be valid as long as this rides exists. This law concept in Germany and later Europe is called "Bestandsschutz". This status is lost if this ride would get for example a new faster engine.

 

Another example are original VW Beetle which have no seatbelts in the back and if you buy one you do not have to install them.

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Once my seat belt came undone at he very top of a portable (ARM?) drop tower.

 

Hold on there partner. Last time I checked, ARM drop tower seatbelts or drop tower seatbelts in general only come undone if you are playing with them. I find it very hard to believe as the ride vehicle is slowly ascending that a seatbelt would magically unbuckle unless you did something to undo it. Also, before the ride even starts when those seatbelts are buckled, they complete an electrical circuit in which an unbuckled seatbelt would prevent the ride from starting. The seatbelt sensors are very sensitive as well, as anytime a seatbelt buckle gets mildly worn or even slightly "loose" the ride will not start.

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How is that allowed?

 

The 1920s Musik-Express got its operations permit at a time were restraints were not enforced by law. Even while newer rides needs restraints according to current law the old operations permit contunues to be valid as long as this rides exists. This law concept in Germany and later Europe is called "Bestandsschutz". This status is lost if this ride would get for example a new faster engine.

 

Another example are original VW Beetle which have no seatbelts in the back and if you buy one you do not have to install them.

 

So its essentially a grandfather clause? I was thinking somebody would mention "weak, sue-happy Americans" like with Mega-Lites.

 

-On Magnum, we heard thunder one night before a Maverick ride night was scheduled. My friend's excuse was "heat lightning". We go on it, and as we climb the lift, "BOOM". Normal thunder and lightning. We end up getting a trimless ride with lightning around us and a pitch-black Lake Erie. My friend later described the incident as feeling like "a train to death."

 

Did you know that heat lightning, the way most people think of it, is a myth? There's no such thing as lightning in the absence of a thunderstorm. "Heat lightning" is simply lightning that's so far away you can't hear it, since light travels further than sound. Well I thought that was interesting anyway. But yeah, that sounds like a pretty awesome ride. Nothing adds excitement like actual physical danger!

 

Yeah, about heat lightning, I think I heard about it being a myth. Also, it wasn't raining at the time, so the storm wasn't that close.

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I remember riding Pegasus at Mt. Olympus, and while waiting I cold see the whole structure waiving back and forth. I started to question my judgement in riding this thing.

 

Check this one out-

 

I remember watching that video and thinking: "WTF?? Is the track supposed to move about that much?". It does look cool, though.

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Swaying of a wooden roller coaster's structure is normal. In fact the ride is designed to sway, if it didn't sway it would cause a structure failure. The dryer the wood gets the more it will sway. I imagine that video was taken when the Rattler was pretty dried out.

 

Yup. If you watch any wooden coaster carefully, you'll see it. I think it's the most pronounced if you are in line for Legend when it comes around the corner heading into the breaks, you are standing next to the structure and you can see it shift 6 or so inches, but that is normal and expected.

 

Nothing special from me apart from one of my rides on Raptor (CP) when, during the lift, my restraint suddenly unlocked about one click without me even touching it. I just locked it back where it was and I didn't worry that much as I knew it was extremely unlikely it would unlock more than that and, even if it did, Raptor is a ride where you could survive without restraints as it's all positive Gs, so...

 

While most of the stuff that people are saying on here I simply don't believe, this is actually normal behavior for the early inverts, and it's totally safe. What happens is the shoulder harnesses don't quite make it to the next "click" even though they are in their position, and when the ride starts moving, the vibrations allow it to snap back into the click one less than that. It generally only happens when you have the harness in a very tight position.

 

Regardless, B&M rides are designed so that if something somehow magically malfunctioned and the harness totally opened, if you still have the seatbelt buckled it will stay just fine.

 

I'm personally surprised that B&M isn't using the flying coaster type restraings with their wing riders, as that eliminates the seat belt as a secondary safety measure altogether and removes the ability to defeat the safety system from the guest hands.

 

The only weird thing that I had happen to me is once when I and a friend were on one of the small metal mice coasters at Indiana Beach (I think it was), the operator was required to put the lap bar down, it was somehow controlled on the outside of the car, and he would do this as he gave the car a push toward the lift. For whatever reason, when we got there he was talking to someone else or something and he sent us without lowering the lap bar. The op at the end that lifted the lap bars told us that we couldn't ride again because of it, like it was something that we wanted to have done.

 

I'm someone who is all about using the safety equipment as designed, an never showing off that I'm adding to the danger by putting up a leg or something stupid, so it was particularly memorable and not a fun ride at all.

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On Batman at SFSTL, my restraint came unlocked once the train was dispatched. It locked again right after we were on the lift hill. I was freaked out for a few seconds. This actually happened twice this year (both in row 6 or 7, I can't remember).

Edited by Woodie Warrior
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^To be honest Dr. M, I don't buy it. If this is such a common occurrence in the enthusiast industry which makes up the smallest sliver of fraction of park goers, we would be hearing a huge outcry from the GP. Therefore, I don't buy all the accounts for a second. Sorry if I upset someone who posted above. Restraints do not usually unlock and relock on a lift hill or any other park of the course that isn't the station. Restraints don't randomly unlock on modern coasters as the train is dispatched either. Someone would have to find access to the manual unlock switches. If a restraint failed completely, chances are it wouldn't relock normally like nothing happened.

 

One thing that always gets me are loose set screws on PTC lap bars that make them wobble side to side and feel like they are being held on by a thread (there is no danger, but I just don't like the feeling). Another one is the new B&M harnesses on Wing Coasters and now Inverts when you can pull them down really fast and they will sometimes go back up a few inches, but the restraint will go down as far as you need them to go once you slowly lower them all the way.

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