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Icon Park - Drop Tower opens today


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On 3/30/2022 at 9:05 PM, mikeykaise 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.

No no no no no. Wrong. Not being honest with people is exactly the kind of shit getting people hurt. The fear of hurting someone's feelings, or being labeled as a "fat shamer," could have very well contributed to what did him in. In certain circumstances, "facts don't care about your feelings" absolutely applies.  

On 3/31/2022 at 7:35 AM, disownedpear said:

When I worked at a park(for years) I never saw larger guest to be angry about not being able to ride something.

I have. I've seen people make scenes and yell at ops on multiple occasions.

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^ yeah. . I've seen it multiple times. . someone refusing to get off a ride (and causing stacking of the train behind them) almost "always" with claims of "I just rode this earlier today/last week/last month" .. and often ending with cussing at the employees trying to help get the restraint to close.

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Got to ride this on New Year's Eve, and had high regards for the unnerving experience of the ride. Felt shook to my core hearing about the news of Tyre. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the onlookers of this horrible tragedy.

It feels wrong to try to come to any conclusions on what happened, so I won't armchair-engineer anything of this. What I'm most afraid of is how Florida is notorious for not releasing reports from smaller ride incidents, and vital parts of information regarding the investigation being withheld to both/either the public or the family. Was any information released regarding the snapped cables last year on their SlingShot in Kissimmee? Have reports been released in the past when a rider death is involved?

This incident was a big discussion in my circles of non coaster-geeks, with many vowing to never get on a drop tower. I'm more trusting of them, but I feel the public deserves to know whether they can be safe on rides like these in the future too. I hope something comes to light, rather than the ride suddenly reopening like nothing happened...

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8 hours ago, Midgetman82 said:

but I feel the public deserves to know whether they can be safe on rides like these in the future too. I hope something comes to light, rather than the ride suddenly reopening like nothing happened...

If it opens again, it's been given state approval and considered safe.  

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Florida doesn't have enough control over social media and other major information outlets to launch that kind of cover-up. The state, and individual investigators, have a lot of liability if they get things wrong. Comparatively, there's not enough money, politics, or social influence potential in Icon Park for the effort.

On 3/31/2022 at 7:50 AM, BotanicalStig said:

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. 

Sad indeed, but undeniably so in part because people can't talk about certain things, despite their logical application, without taking it personal or being offended. I can't think of anything said here that has been over-the-line. The incident itself seems strongly related to body type, whether the possible fault of the ride operators (unlikely to an extent), policies (or lack thereof), and/or ride design.

Don't factor in his personal lifestyle choices that lead to his body type. If it were an overly thin person, and the accident was related to that, the conversation should be the same. Don't manufacture a prejudice that currently doesn't exist here.

As far as some other obnoxious users on social media, I don't know why you would let idiotic comments effect you so much. If it does, they're obtaining their only goal, which is eliciting an emotional response from you and others. You have to let it go, or you'll eat yourself alive.

In any applicable situation, if I'm a ride op, not offending anyone is second to death. Curse at me, call me garbage, threaten to harm me... I don't care. Feelings set aside, you're not getting on this ride, because I care about you as a fellow human and don't want you to get hurt.

9 hours ago, KarlaKoaster said:

I read yesterday that Hansa Park have retrofitted their drop tower (which is almost identical to Icon Park's, including the tilting seats) with seatbelts now. 

Despite the gripes, I don't think that's ever a bad thing. I think the primary purpose is typically another failsafe of determining which body types are unable to safely ride. I'm a fan of this, extra load time, train stacking, and convenience set aside. These are all just stupid rides made for entertainment, who why not make them as safe as possible. (to an extent) I always rolled my eyes at people who cried about seat belts, or even vests. 99% of these complaints come from hardcore enthusiasts, and I doubt the target customer couldn't care less. 

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1 hour ago, evilsaltine said:

Seems like a weight limit is useless to an operator unless they have a scale with them.

Then have one in case of questionable riders.

 

But the owners said there were no limits, not height or weight.

If they had publicized/posted a limit most would have voluntarily complied.

And the ops would have at least questioned larger riders that were clearly over the limit. 

Sure someone 295 or 300 might have snuck through, but 340?

 

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Why allow the machine to operate with the restraint that far up?  You have to be exceeding the limit in that case.  If the ops "got a green light" I just don't see it being their fault.  Still seems like this is a poorly engineered variation of their standard model and that is what caused him to slip out.

 

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13 hours ago, prozach626 said:

I think the primary purpose is typically another failsafe of determining which body types are unable to safely ride.

Yeah. "If the buckle doesn't reach, I can't start the ride" makes sense, and doesn't rely on the operator scrutinizing every large rider.

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On 3/29/2022 at 10:35 PM, TEDodd said:

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.

It uses limit switches-just one piece of metal hitting another. Harness goes down far enough-sensor thinks it is down far enough to be locked. The Weight limit is presumably designed to prevent the situation that occurred, knowing a larger body type might not fit properly. The challenge with restraint design is that a tall persons shoulders could also cause the restraint to be up higher and be perfectly safe—-there’s no one size fits all system.

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On 4/4/2022 at 1:15 AM, Jew said:

The challenge with restraint design is that a tall persons shoulders could also cause the restraint to be up higher and be perfectly safe—-there’s no one size fits all system.

Exactly. The people running the ride have to have some responsibility in ensuring the restraints are properly positioned on a given rider. That means training and doing the task as trained.

Automation, switches, sensors, and such help, but can't replace the human yet.
Relying on those alone is a recipe for disaster.


I'm not absolving the manufacturer completely, as I can't figure out a rider that the high position would be safe for (though happy to be corrected by someone that can). But I still have to fault the owner for their claims of "no height or weight limit" and apparent lack of training about such limits.

And I still fault the operators for not seeing that the restraint was not going work in that position.
No one here looks at the pictures and thinks that restraint was positioned safely and neither should the operators. Unless they were specifically told that was safe, and even then I would have to question such an instruction. I've had plenty of situations where the rules/training said something was OK and I wasn't comfortable with that and challenged such rules (sometime I was show the information I was missing making it safe and sometimes I was proven correct).

 

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7 hours ago, TEDodd said:

Exactly. The people running the ride have to have some responsibility in ensuring the restraints are properly positioned on a given rider. That means training and doing the task as trained.

Automation, switches, sensors, and such help, but can't replace the human yet.
Relying on those alone is a recipe for disaster.


I'm not absolving the manufacturer completely, as I can't figure out a rider that the high position would be safe for (though happy to be corrected by someone that can). But I still have to fault the owner for there claims of "no height or weight limit" and apparent lack of training about such limits.

And I still fault the operators for not seeing that the restraint was not going work in that position.
No one here looks at the pictures and thinks that restraint was positioned safely and neither should the operators. Unless they were specifically told that was safe, and even then I would have to question such an instruction. I've had plenty of situations where the rules/training said something was OK and I wasn't comfortable with that and challenged such rules (sometime I was show the information I was missing making it safe and sometimes I was proven correct).

 

The restraints met the ASTM standards for a class 5 restraint. Long story short, it means they are the highest rated ones used on the most extreme rides. This was 100% a poor judgment call on the operators. The restraint technically being flagged as closed is just a byproduct of that, not a manufacturing defect. As is usually the case when we hear about ejection deaths-operators just should known better despite restraints being “locked”

 

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2 hours ago, disownedpear said:

I love seeing the exact same arguments back and forth for three pages. 

Argument? I see a panel of experts conducting a serious investigation.

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Did the operator training describe how a rider

On 4/5/2022 at 1:38 AM, Jew said:

The restraints met the ASTM standards for a class 5 restraint. Long story short, it means they are the highest rated ones used on the most extreme rides. This was 100% a poor judgment call on the operators. The restraint technically being flagged as closed is just a byproduct of that, not a manufacturing defect. As is usually the case when we hear about ejection deaths-operators just should known better despite restraints being “locked”

 

Did the operator training describe how a rider was to be "properly" seated? How would they know better?

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12 hours ago, evilsaltine said:

Did the operator training describe how a rider

Did the operator training describe how a rider was to be "properly" seated? How would they know better?

We don't have that information yet.

But this wasn't a borderline case, it's clear to anyone that understands how the restraints work that it was not correct. What used to be called "common sense" would have been enough.
 

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On 4/3/2022 at 8:59 PM, tndank said:

Why allow the machine to operate with the restraint that far up?  You have to be exceeding the limit in that case.  If the ops "got a green light" I just don't see it being their fault.  Still seems like this is a poorly engineered variation of their standard model and that is what caused him to slip out.

 

There is still a big giant gap that he obviously slipped through.  The operator has some responsibility to know that it was unsafe whether his company trained him/her correctly or not.  It sounds like the design, training and operator were all deficient.  This is coming a 25 year claims adjuster.  

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Funeral for the young man is happening today in St. Louis, it's been a major story on the local news. They are having the service at St. Louis University which is run by the Jesuits. I'm kind of assuming this was arranged as a donation through catholic charities, I know Cardinal Ritter, an elite private catholic high school here, was courting him for a possible football scholarship. He was from East St. Louis which is one of the poorest/roughest neighborhoods in the St. Louis area and his success at football would have been his way out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If true it is absolutely incredible that Slingshot would make aftermarket adjustments to a specifically designed safety feature, but I guess it answers one of my main questions which was how can a brand new ride can operate with restraints in an unsafe position.

Here's the current accident investigation report which goes into pretty granular detail:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7oss0c7w8d2i3h1/AAAeOaAs6_wBQgp_jZO34ilha?dl=0&preview=Quest+Engineering+and+Failure+Analysis+Field+Investigation+Report.pdf

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So were any of the operators who were working at the time of the accident aware of the adjusted seats beforehand, or did the victim just coincidentally choose one of them?  Either way, terribly unfortunate.  

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That's a good question for sure.  Was it normal training and policy to put larger guests in those seats? Ops probably never questioned why, etc. 

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Man, I knew something was weird when the ride ops were claiming the safe lights were on after seeing the height of that restraint, but this is just criminal and mindblowingly dumb. Anything to make a buck.

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