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  #1  
Old March 17th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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Giant12 Giant12 is offline
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Default Rides gone Wild!

How about stories of rides gone amuck. Anything out of the ordinary mechanically.
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  #2  
Old March 17th, 2006, 03:51 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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First one: Summer of 98, June. I was night shift lead at Giant, my co was Erin Gilmore. For 3 days in a row, right around 11:30 in the morning (I double-checked against the Code 2 sheets), when a train entered Brake 1 (at the end of the ride), it e-stopped itself.
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  #3  
Old March 17th, 2006, 04:42 PM
rct247 rct247 is offline
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Well, this past Sunday, the Texas Tornado performed an e-stop after something broke. (I think it was the bearing or something that has to do with the actual rotation of the ride.)

The rides e-stoped really fast causeing swings to bumps into each other and some swings to scrap the ground (if I am not mistaken). 5 injuries were reported and the ride is still closed after almost a week. I guess it can't even spin if it wanted to now. Supposedly, you can see where it scraped the ground in the far back.

[This is not official just what I have heard.]
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  #4  
Old March 17th, 2006, 04:49 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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There's the story I detailed in another forum about the Cliffhanger where the mechanism that lowered the cars down the slope from the runout track to the loading track was dropping too fast and well before it was time... which caused the cars to drop down the slope, rather than gently roll down the slope... my assistant at the time was so freaked out about it that he stood up in the driver's box and froze... I was unloading at the time and yelled 'RAY! HIT THE E-STOP!' I think we had several guests complain of neck and back and head pain.

Then there was the time in the early 90's (I don't remember the specific year, I want to say it was '91) when we were getting the park ready to open, and new crew training was going on the week before opening day, and a Splash boat got to the top of the lift then decided to slide all the way back down the lift. That was weird.
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  #5  
Old March 18th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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Giant12 Giant12 is offline
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Here is one of my favorites. It was the begining of the 92 season at Giant. I think during Spring Break? One of the trains that had been freshly rebuilt and was packed with greese rolled back on the lift helix, with guest onboard. I remember five of us climbed the lift and then onto the track and pushed the train over the incline. Luckily the second train was still in the station.

Another one was also at Giant. We figured out that if you dispatched a train, on a three train day, exactly when the dispatch light started blinking. The train dispatched would always stop on lift, as the trains were too close together. I remember on one of my days off a bunch of people on our crew went to Wet and Wild. Everytime we looked over at the Giant's lift a train was stuck on lift. Later I found out the person in charge was trying to see how many times they could get it to stop! I don't think the mechanics ever knew what was happening.

Last edited by Giant12; March 18th, 2006 at 03:18 PM.
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  #6  
Old March 20th, 2006, 04:30 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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heh.. I remember a couple times having to climb up onto the Giant track to push a train, especially the first season it was open - I was assistant at the Conductors and frequently in Texas Depot when it got stuck, and got recruited for muscular induction motor power.
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  #7  
Old March 22nd, 2006, 01:44 PM
mktyson mktyson is offline
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Default Ride mishaps

The first year Giant opened, I was dispatching when something really freaky happened. At the time, the lap bars were electrical - the trains had little flags on each side for each car or seat (can't remember), and metal plates in the station that would conduct an electrical current to release the lapbars (awkward description, I know). Erick Fickel was foreman at Giant at the time, and was up by the driver's box. I'd dispatched a train, one was approaching the safety brake, and the other was on its way into the station.

The guy at safety brake called the station; Eric answered (since I was driving) and the guy was yelling "The train's on fire! The train's on fire!!!" Eric told him to hit the e-stop to stop the train on the brake, and to use the danged fire extinguisher. Eric then grabbed the station fire extinguisher and hauled ass to the safety break (not the easiest run). By the time he got there, the fire was out. One of the flags on the front of the train was throwing off a huge amount of sparks, so the train wasn't actually on fire; it just looked like a damned comet as it approached safety brake. Freaky.

Anyway, we had all three trains out of the station - one on life, one on safety brake, and one on the brake right outside the station. Three packed trains to unload, one filled with freaked-out guests on the safety brake, one filled with freaked out and confused guests on the lift (about halfway up) and one out in the brake house, filled with confused and increasingly pissed-off guests. It didn't help that it took FOREVER to unload the trains. We had to use these teeny tiny little lapbar keys that were not what you would call effective, and made the unloading process really REALLY slow. If the train had actually been on fire, then there was no way that the guests on it could have been evacuated quickly.

Pretty soon after that, the lap bar system was replaced with a mechanical one (pretty similar to the one at Shockwave).

I'll never forget the look on Eric's face. That was pretty terrifying (the incident - not the look).
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  #8  
Old March 22nd, 2006, 03:26 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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HA! I remember when that happened. By the time the story got around to where I was (I believe I was tower foreman at the time) it had gotten so blown out of porportion ... I think the version I heard was that the whole train was engulfed in flames. I just shook my head and chuckled... I could see as I was going up and down the elevator the evacuation and there was no fire.... funny.

People used to ask my why I called the Music Mill Amphitheater the Rumor Mill.

That reminds me of an amusing story, which should actually go in Guests Gone Wild... but I'll tell it here because I'm too lazy to navigate to that thread (though I could have done it by the time it took me to type this paragraph so far.)....

My first season, I was working at the Spinnaker with Steve Bemis, and it was near closing - probably about 30 minutes to go. We had no line, and this was before the days where we would let people ride twice if there was no line... or let people come in through the exit. Some drunk folks had come in through the exit while I was walking back to the entrance from the driver's box, gotten in, and closed the hatch. So I told the guy he had to get out and go to the entrance and come down the line just like everyone else did. He refused (like he thought it was going to do him any good.) So we argued for a minute or so, so I turned around, walked about 8 steps to where I could make eye contact with Steve, and told him to call security. While he was still on the phone, I turned around to walk back and right as I turned around, the drunk dude's drunk brother was right there and he shoved me as hard as he could. Those of you who know me know I'm not a small guy. This guy dwarfed me... he was at least 3 inches taller, but he was the widest guy I've ever seen who wasn't a professional wrestler. Maybe he WAS a professional wrestler... I don't know. Anyway, Steve is telling security what's going on, then he yells 'FIGHT! FIGHT!' into the phone and hangs up and comes running down to where I was. I don't really recall what happened next until 4 security officers, 2 ride supervisors, and the rides specialist all come running down, jumping over fences, tackling the dude... I spent the rest of the night in Security filling out reports. As I was walking back to wardrobe, I was a few steps behind a couple other ride crews who were talking about the day, and one guy said 'Hey... did you hear about the fight at Spinnaker? It was a big gang fight, like 10 of them started beating up the operators!' I just shook my head... I didn't have the heart to tell them it was me, and one dude pushed me once.
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  #9  
Old March 22nd, 2006, 04:18 PM
JABBS JABBS is offline
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Steve Bemis. There's a name I'd probably never remember if you hadn't brought him up. Two things I'll always remember about him: 1)One year, he brought in his own tools and turned around a couple of seats on a train coach for no apparent reason. Ticked the carpenters (and probably a few other people) something fierce. And, 2) how much Mike Apple hated him.

I've got a few rides gone wild stories. I saw Air Racer do some pretty freaky things during a breakdown once. Planes started lowering at all sorts of weird angles. Freaked the guests and a number of employees out real good. There was also an incident ('94 maybe?) where, during high winds and a power surge in the middle of the night, planes randomly raised in the air and got tangled around each other.

This was more of a case of employees gone nuts. When I was foreman at Cliffhanger, a guest jumped into a car post-dispatch and rode around the circuit outside of the shoulder bar. I still don't have a clue how that didn't result in serious injury or death. Thankfully, I was off that night.

There was an incident in '92 at Splashwater Falls where chlorine was put into the wrong filter system and exploded. A chlorine gas cloud was released, half the park was evacuated, and hilarity ensued. A couple of employees got sick from the fumes and I got to work at Chute Out that night.

Anyone who worked in Looney Land in the '90's got to see a ride gone wild every time they worked at Little Ferris.

I saw some crazy stuff happen with Rapids over the years, but given the fact that there was some litigation involving that ride, I'll keep my mouth shut.
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  #10  
Old June 7th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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PeterKaraganis PeterKaraganis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStroop
heh.. I remember a couple times having to climb up onto the Giant track to push a train, especially the first season it was open - I was assistant at the Conductors and frequently in Texas Depot when it got stuck, and got recruited for muscular induction motor power.
I remember the first season it was open when we were training drivers before opening day, we had cycled the thing and it stopped in the valley before brake 1. That took some serious muscular induction motor power to resolve. Actually, I think you might have been there for that, but I can't remember for sure.
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