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La Ronde Discussion Thread


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That's great that it's being themed! Still not the best SLC ever, though. New trains would definitely make the ride worthwhile though. I feel like I've ridden this before though... maybe at every Six Flags park in existance (w/o a Batman)?

 

P.S. Best SLC = Great Nor'easter with its new trains.

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^Has it broken during testing or hasn't the second train ever tested at all?

 

If it broke during testing, that's fine but if they knew the train was to be fixed beforehand then I blame the Park for not putting the effort to get it ready for opening.

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Was it just me, or did it sound rather squeaky and shaky?

 

Guy "Not butter smooth, like all other Vekoma SLCs." Koepp

Generally speaking when rides are running on new paint, or for the first time in a while, squeak. If you watch the news coverage of Thunderhawk at Michigan's Adventure or the testing video of Intimidator 305 you can hear the squeaking.

 

I think it's odd that they'd let it pass the brakes at that speed, seeing as it probably doesn't do much good on the trains or track. As far as the ride itself, it looks like just a typical SLC... with a Cedar Fair paintjob

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  • 2 months later...

http://www.montrealgazette.com/Scary+ride+ends+well+Boomerang/3307399/story.html

 

MONTREAL - Halfway through the roller coaster ride, Alex Paradis's safety harness came off.

 

The 12-year-old was left dangling, completely and utterly helpless, 35 metres above ground, halfway through his trip on the Boomerang, one of La Ronde's oldest thrill rides.

 

"I was scared," Alex said in a telephone interview this week. "I didn't know what was going to happen. I tried to lower (the harness). And then I closed my eyes."

 

Alex and his friend Marc Boudrias, also 12, boarded the coaster just after 4 p.m. during a trip to the amusement park on July 6. Despite the malfunction, they made it back to solid ground with no injuries -just a terrifying memory.

 

"I panicked a bit," Marielle Lagace, Alex's mother, said of her reaction to the news. "It was dangerous. I was scared for my boy."

 

The Boomerang, which opened in 1984, is one of La Ronde's most popular roller coasters. It pulls riders up about 35 metres before dropping them through a series of loops at a speed of 75 kilometres per hour. After that, riders are pulled up again, this time backward, only to repeat the same loops again.

 

It was at the beginning of this second backward drop that the harnesses came undone.

 

The same thing happened to two other riders in the same car. They left the site before they could be identified.

 

Luckily, the impressive speed of the ride ended up saving the boys. Thanks to centrifugal force, the youngsters were pushed into their seats for the remainder of the ride.

 

"I told the lady what happened after the ride," Alex said. "All she said was that she was sorry and that that wasn't supposed to happen."

 

The family was offered four VIP day passes to the park in compensation, which they didn't end up taking.

 

"He's not going to La Ronde anymore," Lagace said.

 

Marc Paradis, Alex's father, sat the ride out. He noticed that it took a while for his son to get off the ride.

 

"It was a mechanical problem," Paradis said. "So I understand that it could break, like my car could break down."

 

The thing that angered Paradis so much was the attitude of the La Ronde employees, who failed to "take charge of the situation."

 

"All they did was say they were sorry," he said.

 

When contacted by The Gazette, La Ronde provided a statement about the incident, explaining that a "release switch ... prematurely engaged." The ride was fully inspected and adjustments to the release mechanism were made before reopening the ride, the statement said.

 

The ride was closed until the next day.

 

La Ronde opened in 1967 and was run by the city until the land was rented to the Six Flags amusement park corporation in 2001. Six Flags has been running the show ever since.

 

The amusement park attracts 1.1 million visitors every year, according to La Ronde.

 

"The safety of our guests is our No. 1 priority," said Martin Roy, communication director for the park. "For over 43 years, La Ronde has maintained an exemplary safety record."

 

He added that there have never been any ride-related deaths at La Ronde, but when asked, he did not confirm whether any other malfunctions have occurred at the park.

 

La Ronde employees conduct a thorough inspection of all their rides every day before the park opens, totalling more than 300 man hours, according to Roy.

 

"Inspections take place from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. prior to park opening and also during ride operation and during the night shift," he said.

 

Since Six Flags has taken over, the company has invested $90 million in the park, adding many new rides, including this year's addition of Ednor, an enormous roller coaster that travels at 90 kilometres an hour while skimming over a lake.

 

A recent study of amusement park safety indicates that fixed-site amusement parks are extremely safe. The Fixed-Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey, conducted by the National Safety Council in Itasca, Ill., crunched data from 179 facilities.

 

In 2008, one roller coaster ride out of a million resulted in an injury, the study shows.

 

La Ronde's website carries a disclaimer reminding patrons they are having fun at their own risk.

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Scary+ride+ends+well+Boomerang/3307399/story.html#ixzz0urW4rgW7

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Two Boomerangs having problems pretty recently... how strange. Also I do think it is kind of harsh that the kid is not allowed at the park at all anymore, but this proves it is kind of all about guest service because that is why the mother was angry. It seems like the kid should have gotten more than VIP passes also since he is alive soley based on luck and physics. This is not doing much for Vekoma with their battlestar issues, Trimpers, as well as this. All 3 pretty serious accidents(did the seat really fall off battlestar during testing, or was that rumor) and although no one has been killed Vekoma is pretty lucky right now, but unlucky at the same time, because reliability must be dropping pretty fast.

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Two Boomerangs having problems pretty recently... how strange. Also I do think it is kind of harsh that the kid is not allowed at the park at all anymore, but this proves it is kind of all about guest service because that is why the mother was angry. It seems like the kid should have gotten more than VIP passes also since he is alive soley based on luck and physics. This is not doing much for Vekoma with their battlestar issues, Trimpers, as well as this. All 3 pretty serious accidents(did the seat really fall off battlestar during testing, or was that rumor) and although no one has been killed Vekoma is pretty lucky right now, but unlucky at the same time, because reliability must be dropping pretty fast.

There's no clue what so ever (except for construction of the coaster years ago!) that Vekoma was involved in this. Vekoma gives a certain policy for maintenance. A park can ingore this, so bad maintenance or wrong operation of the coaster (Parks don't have procedures for nothing... I know lot's of cases where operators are fooling around with the system and end up having big trouble that affect safety) could cause this to happen. Altough the last situation probably has not occurd here, since it is an all mechanical system that holds the restraints.

 

When will they invent the looping coaster without restraints? It seems you don't need them...

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I wonder, given the ride's age, if it still has foot pedals to unlock the restraints, or if it has an automated system to unlock them. I could easily see a foot pedal falling down too early and causing a car's restraints to unlock, but if it's an automated system, that would seem pretty unlikely.

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This is the real story here:

 

Marc Paradis, Alex's father, sat the ride out. He noticed that it took a while for his son to get off the ride.

 

"It was a mechanical problem," Paradis said. "So I understand that it could break, like my car could break down."

 

The thing that angered Paradis so much was the attitude of the La Ronde employees, who failed to "take charge of the situation."

 

"All they did was say they were sorry," he said.

 

SOMEONE WITH REASON!!!

 

Hell, I didn't think people were still capable of this. Well, until lawyers change his mind anyway.

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I'm leaning towards something hitting the footpedals by accident, or it malfunctioning.

Especially since these are old Arrow trains. The Vekoma trains have much stronger pedals, that can't be pushed easily (Emergency only). The Arrow trains used to be operated without the 'restraint opening bar' underneath the train in the station. They needed to have weaker springs, so operators wouldn't break their legs kicking the pedals

 

Does anyone know if these restraints are still opened by foot?

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This is the real story here:

 

Marc Paradis, Alex's father, sat the ride out. He noticed that it took a while for his son to get off the ride.

 

"It was a mechanical problem," Paradis said. "So I understand that it could break, like my car could break down."

 

The thing that angered Paradis so much was the attitude of the La Ronde employees, who failed to "take charge of the situation."

 

"All they did was say they were sorry," he said.

 

SOMEONE WITH REASON!!!

 

Hell, I didn't think people were still capable of this. Well, until lawyers change his mind anyway.

 

And those comments will be used against him in court! Somewhere a lawyer is wincing. But yes, someone with reason for sure.

 

I have to be honest, this is my biggest fear on a Vekoma boomerang. Anytime I ride one of these, I continually grip the handles and push down on the restraints to my body. It is seriously the only type of ride I do this on.

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This is weird, my younger brother had said that his restraint had popped open halfway when he was riding the Boomerang at EG. I have no clue as to the validity of his story, but I'm leaning towards true because thats the only ride he won't ride. (He's rode the skycoaster, and everything at MM and EG)

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I'm leaning towards something hitting the footpedals by accident, or it malfunctioning.

 

Same.

 

Hopefully they have identified what happened and are making sure it won't happen again. I'm leaning more toward the foot pedal malfunctioning though. Hopefully it was something as simple as them replacing it.

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SOMEONE WITH REASON!!!

 

Hell, I didn't think people were still capable of this. Well, until lawyers change his mind anyway.

Remember, the PMW kid's parents originally said they wouldn't sue Six Flags for their kids dumb action.. but they did

 

Can we file this in the "OTSR" thread? To laugh at those who say they are necessary

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I'm leaning towards something hitting the footpedals by accident, or it malfunctioning.

Especially since these are old Arrow trains. The Vekoma trains have much stronger pedals, that can't be pushed easily (Emergency only). The Arrow trains used to be operated without the 'restraint opening bar' underneath the train in the station. They needed to have weaker springs, so operators wouldn't break their legs kicking the pedals

 

Does anyone know if these restraints are still opened by foot?

 

The old Arrow trains, like on Demon at CGA, have an automated restraint opening bar at the station under the train to automatically unlock/lock all the restraints on the train at the same time, but each car has a manual release pedal on the "exit" side to manually unlock all the restraints on that car if for some reason the automated system did not, or, say, they needed to evacuate the train on the lift. This train looks very similar and maybe from about the same era so I would guess in the station the automated system is there plus the manual release on the side. In order for all the restraints in one car to unlock during the ride, either there was some kind of malfunction on the locking mechanism on the car, there was something in or on the track that hit the lever underneath the car to unlock them, or somehow the manual release pedal on the side magically got pushed down. From my experience working on Demon, the foot pedals are not that easy to push down, you almost have to stand on them to get the restraints to unlock.

 

This is a pic of the Boomerang train from this ride (from rcdb), the yellow circle shows where the manual restraint release pedal would be on the back of the 'exit' side of the car sticking out...

 

How something could hit or even push down on this pedal is beyond me and unlikely, maybe something happened underneath that car when the train grabbed the lift chain on the second lift hill and the fact that it grabs the chain pretty hard might be enough to jar the lock mechanism on the train if for some reason it was damaged or weak. I must point out I am no expert on this and I wasn't there when this happened, I can only base my statements on my experience with this type of train. This is very interesting.

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On the Arrows that I've been on that are still run manually (Corkscrew at Cedar Point, Cedar Creek Mine Ride), the operators had to put absolutely no effort into kicking the pedals, but even so it would take something pretty heavy to unlock it just like that.

The Vekoma Boomerang (Sidewinder) that I rode didn't make me feel unsafe or endangered, so I don't foresee a major problem with all of their Boomerangs. The problem it was having was that the restraints wouldn't unlock and the operators would either have to jump on the pedal, push it up then back down, or re-lock and unlock the entire train.

 

So since we don't know anything yet, could it be the fault of La Ronde's maintenance of the trains? I realize they're old Arrow trains (prone to be pretty beaten up at this point) but even on the old Arrows I've ridden it didn't concern me that my restraint was going to fly up at any given moment.

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Even though they are a huge pain to deal with, this type of near-incident demonstrates why it's a good thing many parks retrofit these older coasters with seat belts in addition to the otsr. These riders were lucky. If they had been a different height/weight or if the train was running slower that day, it could have been disasterous. I love Vortex at KI and this story makes me glad to have the extra seabelt insurance.

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On the Arrows that I've been on that are still run manually (Corkscrew at Cedar Point, Cedar Creek Mine Ride), the operators had to put absolutely no effort into kicking the pedals, but even so it would take something pretty heavy to unlock it just like that.

The Vekoma Boomerang (Sidewinder) that I rode didn't make me feel unsafe or endangered, so I don't foresee a major problem with all of their Boomerangs. The problem it was having was that the restraints wouldn't unlock and the operators would either have to jump on the pedal, push it up then back down, or re-lock and unlock the entire train.

 

So since we don't know anything yet, could it be the fault of La Ronde's maintenance of the trains? I realize they're old Arrow trains (prone to be pretty beaten up at this point) but even on the old Arrows I've ridden it didn't concern me that my restraint was going to fly up at any given moment.

 

That thought has never crossed my mind on any ride I have been on but I think adding seatbelts would be a good idea especially after this. I agree they were very lucky, it could have been a horrible tragedy and the park is lucky too, maybe after this close call they will look into the seatbelt thing. Even with good maintenance freak things can happen and seatbelts would be one step in avoiding such an incident.

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