1st Gen. Freefalls - Are they Fail Safe?

Saturday, September 21, 2002 1:23 PM
Freefall rides like Drop Zone at Paramount's Kings Island and Pitfall at Kennywood use magnets in order to slow the ride down at the bottom of the tower. 1st Generation Freefalls like Demon Drop at Cedar Point or Mr. Hyde's Nasty Fall at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, however, use conventional brakes to slow the ride vehicle. If the power were to go out while these rides were in operation, how would they be stopped?

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Intelligence is a God given gift: Know how to use it.

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 1:29 PM
Good question...but I'm sure Intamin had thought of that before they built the Freefall's, and so I'm sure if the power were to go out, there would be something to prevent the car from crashing. You never know though.
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"There's no such thing as a mistake. There's what you do, and what you don't do."
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Saturday, September 21, 2002 1:32 PM
If power fails, all the brakes automatically lock up.

*** This post was edited by NITROman on 9/21/2002. ***

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 1:33 PM
They have one long set of brakes that slow the car and and a shorter brake that actually stops it for transfer to the lower track. The default position for those brakes is closed, so a loss of power would never cause the brakes to release. Beyond the shorter brake is a set of about 8 spring and clamp brakes that require a hand operated pump for opening. When I worked on Texas Cliffhanger at SFOT, I saw a car go into the emergency brakes and it was stopped in a big hurry. Luckily, it was not loaded because I'm sure it would have been painful. To answer your original question: Yes, they are safe.
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Saturday, September 21, 2002 2:18 PM

They are safe, but they've had accidents, one fell through the shaft anfter the cable snaped, and one went throught the breakes at the end of the ride and crashed into a ticket booth.

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800,000 years in 7 seconds: Time Machine the movie or next S&S creation?

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 2:19 PM
I have been on the pit fall when the power went out this is what happens. The brakes just lock up and you stick to the side of the pole. Then it lowers you safly buy the cord. Its not really a drop the cable on the inside of the pole accually pulls you down. The ride operator can stop it of slow it down at anypoint. It was kind of scary being stuck at the middle - top of the ride though, a unique expierance i will never want to do again.
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Saturday, September 21, 2002 2:20 PM
Didn't Mr Hydes Nasty Fall have a Fatality a few years ago because of the braking mechanism failure?
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Saturday, September 21, 2002 2:22 PM

Uh, which first generation freefall flew off the end of the track? (answer: none) I think that's a pretty good urban legend, but I'm also pretty darn sure it never happened.

The Edge at SFGAm (now Mr. Hyde's Nasty Fall at SFWoA), however, did experience an accident when one car fell down the lift shaft and crashed into another. This prompted Intamin to install anti-rollback devices on the lifts and changed the way the rides are loaded (cars do not enter the lift shaft until the one above it has cleared).

As others have said, these rides are safe in power failures because the default position for the brakes is closed, just like all roller coasters.

-Nate

*** This post was edited by coasterdude318 on 9/21/2002. ***

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 2:51 PM

Mr. Hydes doesn't have the anti-rollbacks though (either that or they used Mr. Hydes to test the silent magnetic anti-rollbacks)

This accident has info here:

http://members.aol.com/rides911/edge.htm

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 3:00 PM

Coasterdude318 is correct. None have ever flown off the end.

The version now at WOA had a nasty accident that was well publicized at the time. I also believe that SFOG's had an incident at one time in the early 1980s, but I am not sure if anyone was injured or not.

The rides used to advance a car into the shaft as one raised aboved and transferred over to the drop track. The cars now pause before entering the shaft until the above car has safely switched onto the drop track.

Shaggy

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Shaggy

R.I.P. Maestro
Phantom Theater 1992-2002

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 3:27 PM

StEeL PhAnToM said:
I have been on the pit fall when the power went out this is what happens. The brakes just lock up and you stick to the side of the pole. Then it lowers you safly buy the cord. Its not really a drop the cable on the inside of the pole accually pulls you down. The ride operator can stop it of slow it down at anypoint. It was kind of scary being stuck at the middle - top of the ride though, a unique expierance i will never want to do again.

If you're talking about PittFall, isn't this a 2nd-generation tower? Aren't its only brakes the frictionless magnetic ones the bottom? How can the brakes 'lock up'? Unless by 'locking up' you mean that the cables stop lifting and instead go in reverse.

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Warning: This message was composed on a computer in a household where peanuts and peanut products are served.

*** This post was edited by SFGAmLover on 9/21/2002. ***

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 4:01 PM
I also think that the PitFall story is about the lifting mechanism and not the brakes. The magnets on the bottom of the 2nd and 3rd generation Intamin drop towers don't use any electric current to operate. So if the electricity had gone out while the car was actually dropping, it would essentially work the same as usual. Although I would suspect some kind of electric device to bring the cars completely to the loadind/unloading position. So maybe you'd be a couple of feet in the air until emergency generators kicked in.

I think the story above involved a power outage before the lifting mechanism and ride vehicles dissengaged from each other. Still interesting to know how that works, but different situations.

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 8:11 PM

Shaggy, to the best of my knowledge, the FreeFall at SFOG hasn't had any incident like The Edge has had.

All the 1st gens have anti-rollbacks on the lift now. I can't believe they were built without them.

!st gens have three sets of service brakes, each is 25 feet long, and a great many proxies to determine car speed. As others have said already the cars are slowed in these and they will work the same way as coaster brakes would in a power failure. They will close into emergency position.

The car will leave the service brakes at no less than 11 mph. The reversing drive motor will stop the car, then back it up to go down the slope. Should the car be travelling less than 11mph it will not make the reversing drive and the ride will have to be cleared by mechanics. If it overshoots the reversing drive, the car will enter the emergency brakes and stop veryveryfast.

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the member formerly known as MisterX

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Sunday, September 22, 2002 8:29 AM

General Public said:

If it overshoots the reversing drive, the car will enter the emergency brakes and stop veryveryfast.



And the emergency brakes are very failsafe because the are always locked into the on position. They don't need any type of actuator.

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Sunday, September 22, 2002 11:01 AM
I saw Stuntman's Freefall @ SFGAdv and decided not to ride it. It looks so damn painful. Drop, clunkclunkclunk clunk clunk clunk clunk. Ouch! No thanks.

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Sunday, September 22, 2002 11:06 AM
SFNE Freak: They are safe, very safe....nobody said anything about "pleasant"....that's why Intamin built the second-gens....safe AND plasant...:)
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Sunday, September 22, 2002 7:06 PM
But nothing is 100% failsafe... not even a B&M.

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the member formerly known as MisterX

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Sunday, September 22, 2002 7:08 PM
Death and taxes, so they say....everything else does involve some degree of uncetainty....;)
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