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La Ronde Discussion Thread


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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.

Boomerangs will always have enough centripetal force to keep riders in their seats. They pull heinous positive g's going backwards through those loops, and more than enough going through the boomerang. Last year, I was told a story of the former rides manager at AA riding Zoomerang holding a large cup completely full to the brim with ice cubes. By the end of the ride, only two ice cubes had fallen out, mainly due to the roughness of the inversions. Those kids weren't going anywhere.

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It's funny (it is because no one was killed), I remember emailing Duane over at RCDB 5 years ago about the seatbelt on Corkscrew at CP, and he's like 'I don't know why they would do that, OTSRs don't have a history of popping open like lap bars.' Personally, I loved the seatbelt lock on Corky, as it pulled the restraint a tiny bit lower, and I didn't get the head banging like on previous rides.

 

I really do hope there's no lawsuit. If it was maintenance's fault, I can understand that something should be done...if it were simply a freakish accident, then just let it go.

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

 

It's possible as I've had it happen twice on SFA's mind eraser & once this season on grizzly of all rides.

 

In the incident on grizzly,which happened on my opening weekend visit the bar unlocked on the turn out of the station before the lift,fortunately it re locked before getting anywhere near the drop & I had to fill out a lengthy incident report afterward.On ME it happened twice in different rows,first time was in 03 when the OTSR unlocked entering the sidewinder & the 2nd incident occured a few years later in row 3 when going up the lift.

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On Arrow trains aren't the restraints a dual ratcheting system? meaning that when they're unlocked you still have to push up pretty hard to open them because they're still working against a ratchet to open.I know that KD's Anaconda trains have this feature but that's the only Arrow looper I've ridden in quite some time.

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As bad as this sounds, I hope the ride won't be down. I'm planning a trip to La Ronde in August and would really like to get all the credits in.

 

Missing a boomerang isn't the worst thing in the world. It gives you more time to ride the Vampire and Goliath more.

 

But in all seriousness, I'm glad that no one got hurt. Whenever I've ridden these coasters with OSTRs, especially boomerangs going up the initial incline, I've always wondered what would happen if a restraint accidentally came up. More specifically, I wondered what I would do in that situation. It's fortunate that everyone remained seated because in a situation like that, I could see someone panicking and possibly standing up.

 

Also in terms of the release bars, when I was at Marineland last week, the bars were very easy for the ops to release. I'm sure that there would be an extra safety feature on these trains so that just the forces of the moving ride could release the restraints.

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^ I'd definitely stay seated and it depends on what type of restraints the ride has and what it does. For example, if a Zamperla Power Surge's restraints or a Technical Park Street Fighter's restraints came up, I'd be a gonner for sure since those have either crazy inversions or insane ejector air. On a coaster like the boomerang, I'd remain seated, clench the restraint for dear life, and pray.

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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.

This is Canada, where you can't sue someone for just anything.

 

Considering nobody was hurt and these comments were said, then (if this does go to court), the family will probably get nothing.

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On Arrow trains aren't the restraints a dual ratcheting system? meaning that when they're unlocked you still have to push up pretty hard to open them because they're still working against a ratchet to open.I know that KD's Anaconda trains have this feature but that's the only Arrow looper I've ridden in quite some time.

Yes they do, but that's not why the restraints are sluggish coming up on Anaconda (or any other Arrow). If you were still working against a ratchet, they wouldn't come up at all. That's the point of a ratchet. Whatever spring mechanism lifts the restraints probably doesn't work that well on those trains, and that's why they don't come up that quickly. The restraints on the Arrow trains on Zoomerang (AA) FLEW up when you stepped on the pedal, and they also had a double-ratchet system.

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I am suspicious of the other kids in the car who just left without saying anything. I mean, anything could have happened, but it makes me wonder why the other kids would have left because I am sure they would have been traumatized as well. Also, I just keep picturing in my head this scenario:

 

Kid 1 "Hey, what's that pedal for?

Kid 2 "I don't know, step on it and see what happens."

Kid 1 "Looks like it doesn't do anything. Oh well."

 

Well I have my doubts about anyone stepping on the pedal without being caught, but who knows.

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^If it's anything like Zoomerang, it has a photo eye detection system at the exit of the station to make sure all foot pedals are in the upright and locked position. If any of the foot pedals is down, the ride will e-stop itself. In fact, Robb experienced this first hand last year when TPR was at AA (one of our operators wasn't too bright).

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^^ It's good that system worked then, but considering this boomerang is the oldest one in existence it might not have been upgraded.

 

This whole thing reminds me of an unrelated incident that happened at Kennywood on the Pitt Fall (an Intamin drop tower) a long time ago. A little girl wasn't able to reach her seat belt that clips to the front of the OTSR and the ride ops started the ride without knowing it. The girl was panicking; of course, but the Pitt Fall was originally designed without the seat belts, so she was is in no danger of falling out, so whenever she came back down her and her parents swore they'd never come back to Kennywood despite everything the park did to try to ease the situation. I guess it's really out of principle for roller coasters (major flat rides) to have seat belts now.

 

That makes me think even if rides like Kennywood's Zamperla Aero 360 had seat belts would they even help if the restraints popped open? That would be a bad day for a lot of people.

aero360.jpg.feed45f517aa8f583fb64d741516ff32.jpg

Picture is from TPR

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I have train picture that's a little dark in just the right spots. If anyone's curious enough with photoshop you could zoom and up the brightness a bit. But I can't see any pedal. I was there a few weeks ago. And that Boomerang was by far the roughest I've been on. I never knew a vertical loop could hurt so bad.

989441231_GagaMontrealCanobie210.thumb.JPG.55b572022edd1ac205bccd1606a53cc3.JPG

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All Arrow trains have foot pedals, even the automatic release trains as the foot pedal serves as the manual release device should it be necessary.

 

I don't know if this could of happened, but I was once told by a person that had previously worked maintenance on Demon while it was at Wonderland Sydney that they had a mechanic that had arms long enough to reach the pedal and release it as the train would climb the lift to scare the other mechanics riding, but would put it back up before the train would release. If nothing mechanically was found wrong maybe that is what happened, and that might explain why those two guests left without reporting it to the ops.

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I am suspicious of the other kids in the car who just left without saying anything. I mean, anything could have happened, but it makes me wonder why the other kids would have left because I am sure they would have been traumatized as well. Also, I just keep picturing in my head this scenario:

 

Kid 1 "Hey, what's that pedal for?

Kid 2 "I don't know, step on it and see what happens."

Kid 1 "Looks like it doesn't do anything. Oh well."

 

Well I have my doubts about anyone stepping on the pedal without being caught, but who knows.

I originally thought that maybe an op or someone pressed the pedal before the ride started, but the only problem I see with that is getting pulled up the first hill in reverse.

If the restraints weren't locked at that time, the passengers would have known - all your weight is pressed up against those restraints on such a steep incline.

 

Although the idea of a passenger reaching back and pulling the pedal is entirely plausible.

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On Arrow trains aren't the restraints a dual ratcheting system? meaning that when they're unlocked you still have to push up pretty hard to open them because they're still working against a ratchet to open.I know that KD's Anaconda trains have this feature but that's the only Arrow looper I've ridden in quite some time.

Yes they do, but that's not why the restraints are sluggish coming up on Anaconda (or any other Arrow). If you were still working against a ratchet, they wouldn't come up at all. That's the point of a ratchet. Whatever spring mechanism lifts the restraints probably doesn't work that well on those trains, and that's why they don't come up that quickly. The restraints on the Arrow trains on Zoomerang (AA) FLEW up when you stepped on the pedal, and they also had a double-ratchet system.

True but when opening anaconda's restraints you can hear the ratchets clicking....this says to me that there are ratchets that work in both directions somehow.

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Having worked on the Tennessee Tornado at Dollywood (I know its the last standard train they built, but I doubt it differs much)- yes there are manual footpedals on one side or the other of the train that will allow the operators to manually raise the restraints, the issue with the 'someone hit the pedal' theory is you have to hold the pedal down to raise the restraints all the way up, if you just tapped it and someone was pushing up and you let go quickly, it would only raise a bit, not completely. And they are not that easy to release either, I usually had to stomp the pedal to get them to release on TT...

 

It sounds to me like something occurred with the ratchet in the back of the seat, either it stripped out or something, allowing the full range of motion of the restraints mid-ride. As scary as this sounds, it's an easy fix to make, which is how the ride reopened the next day.

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I also doubt that someone already locked in the train would be able to reach out and press the pedal down. There are two things that make this a problem....

 

1. You have to almost stand on most of the pedals to push them down and unless you hold them down, they will go back up and lock the restraints

 

2. The way the car and restraint are designed, once you are seated and locked in, it is impossible for you to somehow reach around the restraint and bend your arm down to reach the pedal. Even if you could the pedal is too far away from you to be able to reach it and push and hold it down long enough to lift the restraint, if even at all.

 

Mechanical failure seems more likely although I dont know for sure.

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^

1.) I have worked on a Boomerang that uses the manual pedals just like LaRonde, and the pedals do NOT pop back up when you take the foot off. You kick them down to unlock and have to kick them back up to lock.

 

The more I read over the story, it sounds like the problem was with the pedal and not the restraints.

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