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  #21  
Old April 3rd, 2006, 09:56 PM
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Anyone remember when one of the tails of an Air Racer plane broke in half, I think it was maybe 95? I bet the happiest day for the mechanics was when that ride was removed, What a hunk of junk! I only worked there a few times to fill open lines, and I think I might of actually worked the ride in operation for a total of 45 minutes! Everytime I was there we either played basketball in the tube, or took turns standing at the entrance. Does anyone know if that's one of the old planes sitting out in someones yard on Highway 380 between Denton and Decatur? It's kind of off the road so I can't tell for sure. That would be pretty cool to have!
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  #22  
Old April 4th, 2006, 05:29 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Hmm... that doesn't ring a bell. In 95, I was over some other side of the park... those last couple years are a blur - I just know I was always on east side... then I demoted myself to go work on the engine... so I may have missed that Air Racer incident entirely. I know that the ETs were glad to get rid of air racer... that ride more than any other gave them fits, with all the limit switches and metal sensors, several different cables for each plane, and thousands of computer operations every second... that safety system was a mess. I'm surprised it allowed the ride to operate at all, with all the ways that something could have tripped the safety system.
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  #23  
Old April 4th, 2006, 09:09 PM
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Alan Cochrum Alan Cochrum is offline
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Exclamation Closed due to unfavorable conditions

Reminds me of the not-so-long-lived Sensational Sense Machine, which was a late-1970s precursor to the movie-with-moving-environment stuff like today's SpongeBob attraction (formerly known as "Escape from Dino Island," if I've got the name right).

The SSM was in a small space at the front of the Park once occupied by the Missile Chaser; the entrance was around what's now the photo stand near Looney Land. From what I understand, it was Code 2 A LOT.

One of the reasons that Alan R.'s beloved Astrolift was torn out at the end of the 1980 season (not too long after I was night foreman there -- a COMPLETE coincidence, I'm sure ) was that you had to shut the thing down for X number of minutes after the wind hit a certain speed (and we had our own personal set of wind-o-meters). We had so much down time that I made sure that the crew picture that season included our "Closed Due to Un-Favorable Weather Conditions" sign.
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  #24  
Old April 5th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Cochrum
The SSM was in a small space at the front of the Park once occupied by the Missile Chaser; the entrance was around what's now the photo stand near Looney Land
Yeah, although SSM was closed when I worked the photo booth in 87 & 88, the building was still there. We were told to stay out, but it was a favorite place to hide and smoke or take girls you met in the park.

Check out the employee doorway to the right in this picture from 1988 (I took this picture with my back to Looney Tunes Land). Just inside and to the right was where Sensational Sense Machine was located. I guess this doorway was the guest entrance to the ride when it was operational?

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  #25  
Old April 5th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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I remember Susan Kubiak was the first foreman of that Sensational "non"-sense machine. There were other names for it as well. I remember how frazzled she'd always look coming into the compound. The favorite question was always something like "how many shutdowns have you had so far". The damn thing never worked right.
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  #26  
Old April 5th, 2006, 12:08 PM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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I was 'Foreman' of SSM for a while. It was considered a 'training' ride for new foremen (foremans?) at the time. I later graduated to Roto Disco then culminated my Rides career at Bumper Cars. by then the hydraulics had been cannibalized, or so they said, to keep more high profile rides running, so the thing didn't even move with the action on the film. So all day you would just count out the appropriate number of guests from the line, let them in, close the doors (hydraulic mechanisms, of course) and start the short film. One day, just to change things up, I loaded the projector with a film that had a completely different theme, that we had never used while I was there, just to surprise the other guy working there. I forgot to put the wing nut on the feeder reel. So the strange film started and ran for about 30 seconds, then we heard this gawdawful crash from the projection room. The reel, already having some angular momentum, rolled and bounced down the metal stairway to the ground, trailing a ribbon of film behind. The film still in the projector stalled and the segment in front of the lamp melted, in that classic movie theater-like fashion. Of course I was terrified that a 'sup' would find out and I would get fired. Hah! But we laughed about the whole thing for weeks.

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  #27  
Old April 6th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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Default P.S. How Many Bytes of RAM?

As far as a ride 'Gone Wild' I don't know if SSM would have ever qualified, even with a catastrophic malfunction. The worst thing that could have happened is that it could have stopped, tilted to one side, and then the doors wouldn't open. Imagine being trapped in a little metal box in the sweltering August heat with about 20 other sweaty bodies. I spent so much time in the little shed that held the reels of film, rewinder, and the ride's electronic equipment, that I can visualize it as if it were yesterday. The computers that ran the ride were monstrosities by today's standards, with all sorts of LED indicater lites. They probably had less memory than my PDA and drew several orders-of-magnitude more power. The good thing was that they had to be kept cool, so there was always a nice air-conditioned place to hang out during breaks from the grueling routine of opening the chain, counting out the appropriate number of guests, and closing the chain again. And the ride itself was air-conditioned, too. A slacker's paradise, rivalled only by the old Western Union booth. And it is funny to think that the projection system consisted of, well, a film projector. Now a good laptop could run the whole thing, audiovisuals and all.

I notice that there has been little discussion about the Big Bend roller coaster. I believe it was plagued by the same kinds of problems. The software and electronics controlling the thing, as I understand, were just too ahead of their time, so it was impossible to keep the thing going, at least in a cost-effective manner.
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  #28  
Old April 6th, 2006, 07:34 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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When I was still at the park, I believe that the building that used to house the SSM was used for some storage. I know that what used to be the ice house in park is used for Light Bulb storage... it was called the Bulb Shack. I know the SSM was in that same area, but I don't know if the building had been torn down and replaced with a regular storage shed...
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  #29  
Old April 6th, 2006, 09:49 PM
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Alan Cochrum Alan Cochrum is offline
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Lightbulb A familiar name

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfotadmin
I remember Susan Kubiak was the first foreman of that Sensational "non"-sense machine.
I remember Susan, too, but during her days as a Merry-Go-Round foreman. I think she dated a guy with whom I worked during my 1978 Flume II stint.
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  #30  
Old April 7th, 2006, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Cochrum
I remember Susan, too, but during her days as a Merry-Go-Round foreman. I think she dated a guy with whom I worked during my 1978 Flume II stint.
HA! I dated her first...in 77.
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