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Icon Park - Drop Tower opens today


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It's attitudes like this that may have prevented the park employee from limiting the victim's access. I know I would have no problem but I'm not 15 and being barraged with pop culture peer pressure. "Fatphobic" 

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13 hours ago, BotanicalStig said:

Unless we find out that the restraint check system told them that the rider wasn't secure, I don't think we can say it was the operators fault. 

 

I would like to think that people would know that he didn't look safe, but come on. 

 

This is so sad. A belt between his legs could have saved him. It wouldn't have been fun, but it should have been there. 

 

Honestly, the safety systems and engineering behind these restraints just seems sloppy. I know that other manufacturers have made mistakes, but we need to learn from them. I don't mean this to be rude, but they need to consider the safety of larger passengers. Either make sure they're safe, or make sure the ride won't let them on. 

 

IIRC those Gerstlauer restraints lock at any position. Then again on a cramped Eurofighter, a rider as tall as the victim (6'5") would be able to push his feet against the train and push himself into the seat - in that instance having the restraint only hold some of him it would be acceptable. I know this is how I ride Eurofighters at 6'3", I keep myself pushed into the seat with my feet and the restraints mainly secure only my chest and shoulders. 

It is sloppy - they didn't go the extra mile to ensure a flawless product. of course this is why Gerstlauer is less expensive than Intamin and B&M who do go the extra mile to ensure a flawless product (only talking about trains,seats and restraints) 

 

Upon initial survey of the ride I didn't understand how it tilted because it is a subtle tilt and it remains tilted until the ride is complete. Returning to upright before braking just seems obvious (especially after Intamin laid the groundwork).  It just wasn't well engineered. They didn't want to come up with a way to return it to upright that wasn't off-the-shelf hydraulics. 

This whole ride is off-the-shelf parts. Separately these parts are fine but putting them together in this manner created something so unique. obviously not what the original designers of the Gerstlauer restraints had thought of when creating that design. 

FF is literally a marvel of engineering and Ive always thought that. 

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An update about the accident reports that the ride manual specified a maximum weight restriction of 287lbs, but Sampson's weight was 340lbs. 

https://www.newsweek.com/tyre-sampson-14-year-old-300-pounds-weight-limit-manuel-falls-death-icon-park-1692763

I guess I still can't understand why a brand new ride is able to dispatch with restraints in an unsafe position (whether the accident happened or not, I think it's clear from that screenshot it's not safe). I do wonder whether it was his height (6ft 5in) or weight stopping the restraints from coming down - maybe we'll end up with a maximum height restriction on this in future.

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4 minutes ago, KarlaKoaster said:

An update about the accident reports that the ride manual specified a maximum weight restriction of 287lbs, but Sampson's weight was 340lbs. 

https://www.newsweek.com/tyre-sampson-14-year-old-300-pounds-weight-limit-manuel-falls-death-icon-park-1692763

I guess I still can't understand why a brand new ride is able to dispatch with restraints in an unsafe position (whether the accident happened or not, I think it's clear from that screenshot it's not safe). I do wonder whether it was his height (6ft 5in) or weight stopping the restraints from coming down - maybe we'll end up with a maximum height restriction on this in future.

From the photo of him at dispatch and other photos I think it was height preventing the harness from rotating further.

This was linked from a Reddit post. Note the guy on the left.
https://imgur.com/a/15kXOhk
He's not very big, but the harness was hitting the top of his shoulders (per his comment)

 

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Quote from a video of Free Fall's media day taken by one of the vloggers I follow: "Another interesting thing that they mentioned is there is no weight limit on either one of these attractions; there is, however, a height limit, so long as the harness is safely closed around the rider, you can ride it. No matter what weight you are, no matter what age you are."

I can't find any raw footage of the opening ceremony, so can't confirm the above quote except that Orlando Sentinel's article about opening day also mentions "no weight restrictions." (CLICK HERE)

So despite the operator's manual stating there's a limit, it seems Slingshot Group was not advertising to the public that there was a limit, and was, in fact, telling the public there isn't a limit.

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I have watched the video, and I will say it is INCREDIBLY SHOCKING, so I would not recommend it to the faint of heart. There isn't much to say other than it seems relatively clear the restraint should not have been able to lock at that level. I am not sure a seatbelt would have helped. With the angle and the forces involved, I think his top half would have still been able to slip out and toss him. Of course we will never know that. We shall see how the investigation and eventual lawsuits pan out, but I see nothing in the video to indicate wrongdoing by the operators save letting a rider too tall/heavy to ride. Are there any photos of the rides warning signs with restrictions listed? While it is incredibly unfortunate for the victim and their loved ones that the video is available online, it is a great thing to have the before, during, and immediate after events recorded.

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At the very least, having a buckle between the harness and the seat would have made it more clear that he wasn't going to fit properly because the buckle would never have latched. I had to walk off Batman: The Ride in STL because the OTSR wouldn't come down far enough over my large bosom to buckle to the seat; they wouldn't have turned me away at this drop ride.

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14 minutes ago, tinaalsgirl said:

At the very least, having a buckle between the harness and the seat would have made it more clear that he wasn't going to fit properly because the buckle would never have latched. I had to walk off Batman: The Ride in STL because the OTSR wouldn't come down far enough over my large bosom to buckle to the seat; they wouldn't have turned me away at this drop ride.

That assumes that they didn't design the seatbelt to latch at the highest possible "green light lock position." It is great that B&M designs theirs a little shorter than they need to be, but a person decides every design decision.

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Also from the Newsweek article, ""ICON Park formally notified the owner of the Orlando FreeFall, the SlingShot Group, demanding suspension not only of the operation of Orlando FreeFall but also the operation of Orlando SlingShot, effective immediately, until the attractions are proven to be safe by authorities," the statement read."

Unless the restraint slipped, broke or bent, it seems to me the gap was still sort of small. To be forced through by the brake, he would have had to be repositioned forward such as by panic during the drop, or maybe passing out limp or leg momentum.

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On 3/27/2022 at 7:53 PM, rachelmadcow said:

 

It's attitudes like this that may have prevented the park employee from limiting the victim's access. I know I would have no problem but I'm not 15 and being barraged with pop culture peer pressure. "Fatphobic" 

I find it ironic that a morbidly obese person is complaining about circumstances being deadly, as if she hasn't looked at the deadly health consequences of her actions. The newest movement is referring to thin/fit/healthy people as entitled or privileged.

#1 leading cause of death in America: Heart Disease. Talk about "deadly." Although I'm sure it's probably "someone else's fault."

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34 minutes ago, prozach626 said:

I find it ironic that a morbidly obese person is complaining about circumstances being deadly, as if she hasn't looked at the deadly health consequences of her actions. The newest movement is referring to thin/fit/healthy people as entitled or privileged.

#1 leading cause of death in America: Heart Disease. Talk about "deadly." Although I'm sure it's probably "someone else's fault."

You could have a very spirited discussion on restraint design and body types, but this isn’t the place for it. 
 

My assumption on what happened is that the harness went down far enough to flag the sensor it was locked when it never actually was. You can squish body mass down when the ride is on the ground, not so much when tilted in the air and dropping…

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37 minutes ago, Jew said:

My assumption on what happened is that the harness went down far enough to flag the sensor it was locked when it never actually was. 

I think it was locked and the light indicated that. But locked isn't enough.

Compare the position for a 6ft 280lb rider vs a 5ft 95lb rider. That's on the operators to check. The ride doesn't know how thick/thin the rider is, only that the harness is locked. 

 

That said, should the harness have indicated a lock in that position? I'm having trouble picturing a rider that would be safely secured with it in that position.

 

So it shouldn't have indicated a lock in that position and the operators shouldn't have let it go either.

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6 hours ago, prozach626 said:

I find it ironic that a morbidly obese person is complaining about circumstances being deadly, as if she hasn't looked at the deadly health consequences of her actions. The newest movement is referring to thin/fit/healthy people as entitled or privileged.

#1 leading cause of death in America: Heart Disease. Talk about "deadly." Although I'm sure it's probably "someone else's fault."

If the ride couldn't be designed to keep him safe, it should have been designed to keep him OFF. This is such a basic safety concept. Unfortunately we've seen this issue time and time again. Reputable manufacturers have put in the effort to fix mistakes and keep people safe. You can't just put up a sign with a max weight limit and expect employees to stay on top of it. Automated systems need to do the work. Safety is the first priority when it comes to designing rides, it can NOT be an afterthought. Ride engineers need to be extremely careful if they don't want a death on their hands. It doesn't sound like they put in the work to make these towers fool proof. 

 

I'm not morbidly obese, I just have empathy. 

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9 hours ago, bill_s said:

Unless the restraint slipped, broke or bent, it seems to me the gap was still sort of small. To be forced through by the brake, he would have had to be repositioned forward such as by panic during the drop, or maybe passing out limp or leg momentum.

Perilous Plunge has entered the chat.

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9 hours ago, KBrylczyk said:

Perilous Plunge has entered the chat.

Those 1st Gen Intamin hyper restraints are like skinny jeans. That's why Inta had to introduce the current design, since they realized their biggest customer base (USA at the time) had fat guests. 

...somehow B&M has been using the clamshell since 1999 and I see fat boys riding those all the time. B&M is like Patek to Intamin's Rolex. 

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https://www.wane.com/news/orlando-freefall-manual-shows-teen-exceeded-weight-limit/

 

 

“The ride will not operate if those checks are not greenlighted. Again, everything was functioning properly when the ride started. What we don’t know is what happened after that,” Stine told WFLA. “We’re just deeply saddened and shocked by what happened last night. Our hearts break for the family.”

 

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I just can't believe CBS National News showed him falling, totally not needed, and looks like the maximum wight from manufacturer is 285 or 287 lbs I think they said. In today's sensitive environment telling someone that they weight too much could be bad too, it's a fine line for parks nowadays.

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It's better for a guest to get angry about being turned away than for an operator to cave and let them on and them end up dying.

I myself am obese, but I understand how important following the safety requirements for rides is, and I have no problem being told "Sorry, you just wouldn't be safe on this ride."

Also, can't believe the news is showing it all... Did they at least give a warning beforehand? I'm okay as long as stuff is warned for so I know what's coming and whether or not I want to witness it (which I did not in the case of this death, but the post I saw it on didn't specify that the video was of the incident rather than just a "here's what the ride looks like in normal operation").

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5 hours ago, rachelmadcow said:

wait the ride itself is owned by an entity other than the park's owner? what in the russian nesting doll hell. 

Icon park isn't a really a park. No entry fee, pay for each attraction. They own the wheel and a few others. They rent space to other companies that install and operate attractions.

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When I worked at a park(for years) I never saw larger guest to be angry about not being able to ride something. They would just be ashamed, and even if they did feel it unfair they wouldn't want to bring any more attention to themselves. 

 

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^ The people saying "yeah well he's fat so he's just going to die anyway!" or "yeah well fat people are snowflakes, if the park rejected him he'd just cry about it!" 

 

Are insane. Kind of like your bullies in childhood, if you don't feel good about yourself, you have to find a way to put that on someone else. Some people just don't grow up, unfortunately. 

 

Really sad to see so much of this as a response to a teenagers death. I feel so bad for him, his friends and family. You can't bring him back. Think about what the people who were on that ride him are going through right now. You think they need stupid opinions about society being snowflakes and having heart disease? Is that how you'd feel if your child, brother, or friend died in a tragic accident?

 

This world we live in right now is just so sad. I'm holding back a lot of words towards people in this thread, maybe you guys should try doing the same before you say something stupid. 

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I don't think he was that overweight. That he was big and only 14 makes it worse, but otherwise he was comparable to myself or many others here. 

Fact is, there is a whole segment of the population that is big here or there or everywhere but still active enough to want to ride. The subject of height restrictions has recently come back up. I'm not sure there's a solution because if increasing the limits also increases the minimum size, more willing riders will be excluded than gained. But it may be closer to an even tradeoff than (actual) designers realize. The seats and restraints of the Freefall look to me to emphasize freedom and comfort over range.   

About the only ride that even has restraints I know would have accommodated him comfortably is Avalanche/Reptilian. Once I rode it and a huge biker yelled joyously and surprisingly unselfconsciously "finally something I can ride!" 

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13 hours ago, tinaalsgirl said:

It's better for a guest to get angry about being turned away than for an operator to cave and let them on and them end up dying.

I myself am obese, but I understand how important following the safety requirements for rides is, and I have no problem being told "Sorry, you just wouldn't be safe on this ride."

Also, can't believe the news is showing it all... Did they at least give a warning beforehand? I'm okay as long as stuff is warned for so I know what's coming and whether or not I want to witness it (which I did not in the case of this death, but the post I saw it on didn't specify that the video was of the incident rather than just a "here's what the ride looks like in normal operation").

no, they showed a very quick shot of him actually falling. I was shocked that they would even show just that part. I agree with you, people are so sensitive about everything now days but you're right 100%.

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