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Icon Park - Drop Tower opens today


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It seems to me that the manufacturer didn't take the tilt into account when determining the restraint tolerance/threshold. The victim's body type only allowed the restraint to close to what looks to be about 30 degrees shy of vertical, closely matching the tilt of the ride. There really wasn't much in way of the victim falling out, aside from the little bump molded into the front of the seat.

While I do think that the ride operators should have erred on the side of caution upon seeing how high the restraint was, my opinion is that the manufacturer holds most of the blame here.

My thoughts are with everyone involved. I cannot imagine how traumatic this situation was for anyone who happened to witness the accident.

 

Icon_Incident_30_Degree_Tilt.jpg

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Yes, exactly my thoughts too. The seats and restraints are actually Gerstlauer and designed for their coasters. It seems unlike most drop towers, when it hits the brakes most of the vertical force will pull the rider towards the gap between the seat and the restraint. 

icon.png.dd28f6ee06b03584a74030032e6d6b2e.png

(sorry for the terrible diagram)

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1 minute ago, Haymaker said:

He fell during the brake run, not during the tilt.

I know, and I think DougMJr knows that too, but what I mean is that when you're perched on a little hump/ledge because of the tilt and the restraint being in that position, you're more likely to slide down and under the restraint when you're slowing because of the g-forces pulling you down.

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Horrible accident. Seems much of the blame is on the ride manufacturing and engineering. The excellent drawing above make sense and could explain things. 

I noticed Drop Line at Dollywood was closed today. Wonder if all their towers are shut down for now?

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That drawing perfectly captures what I was imagining in my head for how this happened. I don't dare watch the video and never will. What a horrible, horrible accident. It's 2022 and this should not be happening. And the ride has been operating for barely 3 months.

It never made sense to me that this does not have the redundancy belt that clips to the restraint, when the slingshot immediately next door features the exact same seats and restraints and has a seat belt. I hope this ride gets those redundancy belts, and perhaps even a separate lap belt underneath the restraint. I would 100% welcome that change. Slowing down so abruptly at that angle really was a strange and unnerving feeling, versus a regular drop tower where you are completely into your seat or like Falcon's Fury where you are completely into your restraint. This puts you in between the two. What an awful, awful thing to happen. I can't imagine what the poor family is going through, or the bystanders who witnessed it.

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Terrible news. The young man was from St. Louis so the story was on our local 5 pm news. According to that story he was 365 lbs and 6'5", down there for a spring break trip as most of our area school were off this week. 

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2 hours ago, KarlaKoaster said:

It seems unlike most drop towers, when it hits the brakes most of the vertical force will pull the rider towards the gap between the seat and the restraint. 

icon.png.dd28f6ee06b03584a74030032e6d6b2e.png

(sorry for the terrible diagram)

I think the diagram shows perfectly what could have happened. The sad thing is that if it was a regular drop tower without the tilt he likely would have survived even with the restraint that high. Whether he should have been allowed on even a regular drop tower with the restraint that high is debatable though.

Some people have discussed how the ride wouldn't depart if bars are too high but do we know if this kind of drop tower allows that? The worker is seen pulling down empty bars but I've seen a few drop towers or rides that can depart with restraints still up. There are plenty of rides that don't green light restraints: Vekoma family coasters like HKDL Grizzly cars for instance. I know for a fact that the S&S Hyper Drop in Korea can run with restraints open because there is video of people riding next to empty chairs and them slamming shut from the forces mid-ride.

I know most people are talking about them adding seat belts to the ride when the investigation finishes but I wouldn't be surprised if they also remove the tilting function and turn the ride into a regular drop tower.

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3 hours ago, KarlaKoaster said:

I know, and I think DougMJr knows that too, but what I mean is that when you're perched on a little hump/ledge because of the tilt and the restraint being in that position, you're more likely to slide down and under the restraint when you're slowing because of the g-forces pulling you down.

My understanding of the ride operation was incorrect, my mistake. I didnt realize it dropped in the tilt position. Watching it again in better quality it appears as you stated, that he was already partially out and the brakes shot him off.

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From Clickorlando:

Worker 1: What are you doing?

Worker 2: I don’t know.

Worker 1: Didn’t you check it?

Worker 2: Yeah. The light was on.

Worker 3: We both -- we checked it. The light was on.

Worker 1: You guys are sure you checked it?

Workers 2 and 3: We did, yeah, the light was on.

 

That would suggest it does have interlock and wouldn't send with the seats open. 

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Apparently there was video being taken by someone in the queue, because a screenshot is now circulating that clearly shows how the victim looked sitting in the seat before the ride started. I don't know how they got a green light on that.

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For discussion this is the picture:

image.thumb.png.fd63e9f77c6f5ace639915259b5bab0f.png

Source

I haven't cropped it this time because the other riders are already censored and as you can see from the post above and the numerous news articles, the poor guy's face is now everywhere anyway.

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^ There's no way that boy should have been allowed to ride this. He is clearly too big for those restraints to hold him. The ride ops should have realized by the way those restraints were fitting him that it wouldn't work.

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1 hour ago, Garet said:

For discussion this is the picture:

image.thumb.png.fd63e9f77c6f5ace639915259b5bab0f.png

Source

I haven't cropped it this time because the other riders are already censored and as you can see from the post above and the numerous news articles, the poor guy's face is now everywhere anyway.

That is one big 14 yr old. Dude looks older than me. Still with his size its hard to believe he slipped out, youd think something wouldve caught him or that he couldve held on. 

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1 hour ago, Sportsdude360 said:

^ There's no way that boy should have been allowed to ride this. He is clearly too big for those restraints to hold him. The ride ops should have realized by the way those restraints were fitting him that it wouldn't work.

The ride itself should have not allowed this to happen, regardless of what the operator did or did not do.

The ride obviously had control issues to allow the restraint in that position.

I dont forsee blame on the ride operators at all here, unless some type of override occured, which I doubt, unless they have maintenance mode capabilities.

Flawed engineering here. 

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^^ you’ve got to thrown in the fact it was tilting. There’s a lot of complicated numbers because of the tilting and it’ll probably come up in the investigation on if he had any chance of surviving it. 

Maybe if he realised how much danger he was in pushing up against the restraint to brace against the forces and push himself into the seat as much as he could but it will take a lot smarter people than me to calculate that.

There’d be a lot of forces at work when it hits those brakes I can’t see how he could have held on there on that tilt. It’s be like going off a slide at a huge speed in mid air and grabbing a hand rail above you. Even at a lighter weight and not his you’d lose your grip instantly or your arms would be ripped out their sockets. 

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ICON Park was looking for a record holder and didn't want to spend a lot of money here we are. 

Funtime wanted to make a record holder but didn't want to spend money designing testing seats/restraints so here we are. 

This is the exact reason why parks do not mind paying top dollar for a Bolliger and Mabillard. The cost of one mistake is literally worth the millions. 

I recall Mack showing off their new restraints (now old because it's on many of their rides) and they clearly spent a lot of time researching it and ensuring it would be safe and comfortable. I knew when they came out with that restraint design that their sales would spike. I think it was at an IAAPA expo but can't find a clip. This change in restraints and intro of a hyper model literally made Mack an Intamin/B&M alternative when it used to be a Zeirer alternative. 

 

Gerstlauer needs to stop letting 3rd parties use their technology. It's ruining their reputation. I noticed these are the same restraints as TMNT etc. 

 

The guy riding FF appears to have the restraint just as high as the victim on Icon Park's tower. 

 

Again such a tragedy and so sad he was from out of town. 

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8 hours ago, DougMJr said:

It seems to me that the manufacturer didn't take the tilt into account when determining the restraint tolerance/threshold. The victim's body type only allowed the restraint to close to what looks to be about 30 degrees shy of vertical, closely matching the tilt of the ride. There really wasn't much in way of the victim falling out, aside from the little bump molded into the front of the seat.

While I do think that the ride operators should have erred on the side of caution upon seeing how high the restraint was, my opinion is that the manufacturer holds most of the blame here.

 

Yea if the ride didn't tilt this would not have happened. He just would have had a harrowing ride. 

Funtime is 100% responsible with the operators only being responsible if they didn't follow protocol. The park is the one who will pay the 2nd biggest price (after the victim of course). 

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