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Six Flags Over Texas (SFOT) Discussion Thread

P.. 420: Pirates of Speelunker Cave announced for 2022!

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That video or any report that explains a click, just disregard.

 

And i like that narrators accent. British? Australian?

 

Australian I'm ashamed to say.

 

Been a lurker for a while (was a member years ago, used to run Ozcoaster with Ian 'Rabid' Disney). Saw this on the local news (Canberra) and thought this would be the best place to get some reliable information. Although it was refreshing to read the excellent article that has been posted several times, the vast majority of coverage including that animation has been lazy and implicitly sensationalizing the event and the danger or coasters in general, by not putting their overall safety into context for readers.

 

As others have pointed out many times already, although it's difficult to calculate deaths or serious injuries per passenger mile, an educated guess based on trip numbers (which show them to be extremely safe compared to others forms of transport) would demonstrate that roller coasters are statistically safer forms of transport than at least all forms of road transport and I would be surprised if it didn't come out on top against commercial rail and air travel as well, regardless of which calculation method is used. The reason for this is fairly obvious - these are highly engineered forms of transport, with redundant safety systems and comfortable margins in terms of loads on the track, train and structure and even more importantly, are operating within an extremely controlled and predictable environment that just isn't possible for practical modes of transport (but also the reason for trains and planes being safer than road travel, for example).

 

In my opinion, the main reason such rare events as this one generate such inappropriate or disproportionate responses compared to much more pressing realities of the dangers of road travel (or countless other more likely things to kill you, such as what you've had for lunch for the last 20 years), is that roller coasters not only look scary and dangerous, they are designed to elicit these emotions. The media absolutely have a responsibility to do a far better job than they do when it comes to deliberately sensationalizing such events without putting the overall safety of roller coasters and amusements park rides into context for readers, the vast majority of which aren't coaster enthusiasts and don't know the numbers and realities regarding safety. Despite what we'd all like to believe, we rarely use logic alone in a decision making process and the less we know (or think we know), they more we rely on an emotional or associative judgement - neither of which ends well for the perception of roller coaster safety after even a minor incident.

 

Even though there is a parallel to incidents involving commercial air travel, as others have mentioned, I think that the reality of the overall safety of air travel has been hammered home long and hard enough by the airlines (and subsequently the media to a lesser extent), so that even after high profile incidents, most people would still acknowledge commercial air travel as being safer than driving.

 

I have a strong suspicion that if you were to conduct a poll the day after the SFOT tragedy and the day after the recent tragedy at SFO, with a question along the lines of "in light of yesterday's incident, how likely are you to reconsider your next 'plane trip'/'roller coaster ride'?" You would receive a far more negative reaction in terms of future intent towards the coaster than the plane - both of which, fortunately, fade over time.

 

Having said all that, as much as I love coasters and theme parks, there are far more important issues I would like to see covered in a much more responsible manner by the media.

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I think the main theme we're seeing here is "people are stupid, irresponsible, completely unwilling to accept fault, always looking for a cultural bogeyman, and always looking for material that supports their opinions of said cultural bogeyman". News outlets are going to speak of coasters as poorly-designed, horrendously unsafe suicide machines and parks as amoral life-jugglers who place profits over safety and who are hell-bent on making sure it stays that way because people expect that kind of portrayal and aren't inclined to question it, and anything from a news outlet that runs contrary to their uninformed, benighted subject views is probably going to anger them because people don't take kindly to stuff that does not line up with how they currently feel on the subject. It makes them feel stupid, and people tend to equate that with biting the hand that feeds because hey, they're loyal readers and CAN YOU BELIEVE THE NERVE OF THESE ASSHOLES SAYING SOMETHING THAT DIFFERS FROM MY OH-SO-DEEPLY-HELD CONVICTIONS THIS IS INEXCUSABLE GODDAMMIT I'M CANCELLING MY SUBSCRIPTION RIGHT NOW.

 

Really, though, you can replace "coasters" with any common cultural scapegoat. This is hardly a major revelation.

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At least she was smart enough to get off before anything else would happen before hand. Like Robb said in his interview, if you don't feel safe, simply don't ride.

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Any idea on how long the investigation will take? How long did the Superman RoS investigation take for the 2011 accident?

The Superman one took about a month.

 

Cool deal. Thanks Robb. I wonder if the iRat investigation will take as long or if it'll be a bit quicker since there wasn't any accident at SFFT. Hopefully that'll be the case since I'll be in San Antonio for a few more weeks. In any case it moves along quickly so they can make any modifications they see fit.

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I'm headed down from St. Louis to Branson tomorrow for two days, then to Arlington for SFOT, then to Schlitterbahn NB, then to SFFT (planned this mostly to hit the three RMCs). Am I correct in assuming that there's basically no chance that either NTAG or iRat will open within the next week? Also, what is the best strategy for hitting everything in the park in one day?

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I get the feeling the real context of this situation was that the ride operators got the bar down low enough to dispatch the ride, but asked if she felt comfortable first...of course, since it was stapling her so much, she said no and they let her off.

Edited by Jew
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I'm headed down from St. Louis to Branson tomorrow for two days, then to Arlington for SFOT, then to Schlitterbahn NB, then to SFFT (planned this mostly to hit the three RMCs). Am I correct in assuming that there's basically no chance that either NTAG or iRat will open within the next week? Also, what is the best strategy for hitting everything in the park in one day?

 

Seriously, invest in a flash pass. Though I do not think Texas Screamer or Judge Roy Scream are on the system so you may want to hit those first.

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^Texas Skyscreamer should be first. It can have as much as an hour and a half wait later on. And, since it's new, guests will generally head for it right after the park opens. JRS, by comparison, isn't nearly as popular and is generally a walk on.

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Has anyone seen the video of the Spain train crash? It's devastating! http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/25/world/europe/spain-train-crash/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

 

73 people are dead. Guess what? Trains are still running.

 

Can someone again please explain to me why Texas Giant AND Iron Rattler are still closed?

 

I think the USA really needs to take more cues from Europe and the rest of the world on how to understand and react to situations.

 

--Robb

Edited by SharkTums
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Has anyone seen the video of the Spain train crash? It's devastating! http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/25/world/europe/spain-train-crash/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

 

73 people are dead. Guess what? Trains are still running.

 

Can someone again please explain to me why Texas Giant AND Iron Rattler are still closed?

 

I think the USA really needs to take more cues from Europe and the rest of the world on how to understand and react to situations.

 

--Robb

 

That awful! I know this point already has been made, but these trains will run tomorrow! Why can't we get over the NTAG incident?!?!

Edited by SharkTums
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I had my first trip ever to the Texas parks planned a week and a half from now. I just canceled the entire Texas part, keeping just the first stop on the trip, SDC. At least Outlaw Run will be up and running in pitch black darkness. I'm not going to drive all the way from Chicago to Texas and not get to ride what we went all that way for. Hopefully we will get another shot at it next year. I figured if the Darien Lake Ride of Steel was down for two weeks over a death for which the reason was blatantly obvious, they won't get these back open any quicker. Nice comparison with the train accident btw!

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