I wouldn’t trust a company who stole designs and didn’t implement them right. Phantom said what I was trying to get across. A design flaw should never result in a death at a park in a ride.
To say that the only acceptable number of deaths is zero is not the way things are done. When these rides are built, the designers go through a DFMEA (Design Failure Mode Effect Analysis). They think of every possible failure that they can think of. They assign a probability of the failure, and how significant the risk is. For example the ride closing might be a low significance, riders getting stuck on the ride might be medium, minor injuries might be a high significance, and death would be extremely high. They then figure what is an acceptable risk level based on the probability of it happening, and how severe the result it. The risk level for any event can be very low, but it WILL NEVER BE ZERO. To get that risk to zero would a) cost so much to build the ride that it would never be profitable or b) provide a ride that just doesn't provide an experience that people want to ride. Its up to the park to determine what they consider an acceptable risk for the ride from the specific manufacturer. I would guess that Intamin allows a higher probability of the severe events that B&M, and that would give me pause for building one of their rides.
What deaths are we referring to? The last deaths that I can recall are the one on NTG and the river rapids accident at Dreamworld (which I think was a maintenance issue and not a design issue). The Fireball accident wasn't Intamin either.
I can think of the RoS accidents involving the dismembered vet and the large man that fell in the turn.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Intamin, I'm just wondering what deaths I'm missing.
The Flume in Europe that killed a woman. The flume at KBF ejected someone if I recall. I’m not counting the guy with no lap, but there have been ejections on the other two Rides of Steel as well andvthevrestraints had to be modified.
Then there are the design flaws that didn’t result in deaths. I305. Maverick. The whole fluke at holiday world debacle. The flume at CP.
The "numbers" are statistically irrelevant beyond that fact that there are too many deaths and injuries among Intamin rides. Comparing the activity to anything is a bit of a strawman since the intent is to have the illusion of danger, not actual danger. Furthermore, "pushing the envelope" for engineering is not and should not be correlated with less safe rides. A B&M ride has never killed anyone or ejected a rider, as far as I'm aware. Heck, I'm not aware of it happening on any Arrow rides, and some of them have been in service for 40 years.
As for the difficult to work with problem, perhaps outside of the US, the parks don't need to deal with Sandor. They're still over-engineered to a fault, as most any maintenance person will tell you that has to work on them.
Nothing serves as a better recent example of what Jeff just elaborated than Shoot the Rapids. So poorly designed, so poorly implemented, so over-engineered; and that accident off the lift hill could have resulted in a lot of tragedy.
I will give you the over engineering portion, but many company are guilty of that. Arrow figured out an extremely simple system for log flumes many decades ago. We don;t need much more than that honestly, so I can give you StR.
I do remember the various ejections, Perilous Plunge, S:ROS. I also remember that the riders who were ejected should have never been allowed to ride based on body size. The park created the unsafe condition. Before you say, well they would have not been ejected on a B&M, maybe they wouldn't have, B&M's restraint design most likely allows for bigger people to ride, but B&M restraints are much less enjoyable than the lap bar.
If the park wanted Intamin to design a ride for 300lb+ riders, they would do so. But they design their rides for the vast majority, and the vast majority are not 300+ lbs. I have no issue with the company about those ejections, I believe that the park could have easily prevented them, and I am willing to bet that in the guidelines provided by the manufacturer those passengers were not able to ride.
As for design flaws, there are always going to be some design flaws, and the only way to 100% eliminate them is to perfect the product and never change it again. B&M has not changed much of anything since they began, Intamin has. That alone will give them a higher chance of failure, which brings me back to my original point, I would much rather innovation and 0.00005% chance of death than no innovation and 0.00003% chance of death. The chance will however always remain. Just one example, a brain hemorrhage caused by riding Montezooma's Revenge at KBF in 2002.Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Saturday, November 11, 2017 6:33 PM
The hydro incident was not because the person shouldn’t have ridden. And why did they have to redesign the restraints if there was no problem other than parks being irresponsible in the first place?
You can continue to take up for them all you want but Intamin has had a much higher number of incidents and failures than any company I can think of.
Were they not forced to by some government agency? I know CA can bit a bit overkill with regulations and such.Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:17 PM
If the restraint secures in such a way that there's still a major decision to be made about the rider's suitability to ride (weight, body shape, etc.), you're doing it wrong. When you get beyond "does it lock or not?", there's a lot of room for error.
I believe all rides now have a lockout for minimum restraint position not met, and that you can no longer dispatch if the restraint is in an ineffective position. This was a problem introduced by hydraulic restraints as there is no clear indicator of minimum position met as the restraint locks in all positions, whereas with mechanical restraints you used to just put the first ratchet position as the minimum and it either locked or it didn't.
Also if I remember correctly Dave had quoted modifications to ASTM standards that now require an indicator of minimum safe position met.Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:51 PM
Its funny you mention the flume ride incidents; because I was just looking at the concept work for infinity falls at SWO, and can say it looks like the first water ride I WOULDN’T ride. I get nervous on those rapids rafts, especially after the australian capsizing. Seeing a flume combined with rapids rafts gives me the chills.
Were they not forced to by some government agency? I know CA can bit a bit overkill with regulations and such.
They shouldn't have to be 'forced' by any agency to design rides that don't eject and kill people! What part of that don't you understand? And there are no Rides of Steel in California. Jeebus, i get it. You like them. Okay, fine. Doesn't take away the fact that Intamin seems to hold the record for rider fatalities in the US for coasters, unless you can find me something stating otherwise.
It also doesn't excuse poor engineering on Maverick, I305, Shoot the Chutes, Pilgrim's Plunge.
Edit: Here, defend this list, but add in the catastrophic failure on Kingda Ka that happened a few years ago when no-one was on the ride during morning testing, and the recent major event that happened on TTD, and whatever going on with Xcelerator-
I mean, that even has incidents I wasn't aware of, like a restraint popping open on a Zac Spin and killing someone, and the flight commander death at KI that I'd forgotten was a restraint issue. Go ahead. Tell me they're all park issues...I'm waiting.Last edited by Tekwardo, Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:41 PM
We went to Dollywood yesterday with some good friends who like parks and rides just fine, but aren’t the enthusiasts like we are. It was their first visit. Naturally, I regaled them with a few facts, figures, and history as we went through our day.
While we were waiting for Thunderhead the subject turned to ride safety and certain operations. (Two train versus three, mid-course brakes, stuff like that. Conversations about various restraint styles had already been frequent as we went from ride to ride) Anyway, I explained to them how back in the day amusement parks were considered to be entertaining but at the same time somewhat daring. There was a certain risk assumed- much more than we experience today. My friends looked at me in disbelief when I told them roller coasters often had a stationary grab bar, a leather strap, or sometimes nothing at all. Or how early flat rides often required riders to hold on tight and sit still or risk getting thrown. Or how funhouses existed that contained spinning disks, collapsing stairs, and real electric shocks. Surely back then accidents and injuries were way more common than they are now.
It reminded me of the turn of this topic and how much things have changed. Nowadays we’ve come to completely trust that rides are totally safe and it’s no longer our responsibility to ensure our own safety, but instead is the park’s and the manufacturers’. Now it seems every visitor to a park feels entitled to participate in every attraction regardless of their age, size, or strength. One of my friends pointed out, quite correctly, that we live in such a litigious society that regulations and increased safety measures are absolutely necessary.
As for Intamin? Say what you want, but it hasn’t gone without notice that a large percentage of amusement ride failures and accidents rest on them. And we as modern consumers board their machines strictly for entertainment, not to leave our lives to fate. It might be acceptable in other countries or has been sometime in the past, but not here and not now.
Do I ride Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, and Maverick? I sure do. But when I do there’s always a little fear in the back of my mind and a prayer or two that we all make it back ok!
Even if the number is small for the individual, I'm sure the parks with Intamin rides that have killed someone or dismembered someone aren't happy with them. Am *I* going to get hurt on an Intamin ride? Probably not. Is a park's bottom line going to be hurt by an Intamin ride? That doesn't seem too unreasonable.Last edited by ApolloAndy, Monday, November 13, 2017 10:00 PM
And it’s not only death and injury come along to piss em off, but just the mere inconvenience may be enough. We can all name a park or two that felt compelled to remove a fairly recently built ride just because it sucked.
Then you find a ride like Chiapas and I’m all like “Heeeey... what gives?”
To expand on what I said earlier, the Law of Large Numbers essentially states that no matter how unlikely something is to happen, given long enough, it will happen at least once. Thus, given that most of these large ride manufactures have hundreds of rides operating at dozens of parks, sooner or later every one of the manufacturers can expect to have some significant failure event eventually. Now, I don't have the hard numbers in front of me, but is seems like Intamin has had more "significant" failures than Arrow, S&S, B&M, GCI, CCI, and Gravity Group put together. Now, that is going a bit beyond acceptable incidents.
TheMillenniumRider - I agree that lab bars make for better rides. In my opinion, B&M's lab bars provide some of the best rides around.
RCMac - I wonder if part of the change in safety comes from the bigger rides. With the smaller funhouse rides, the worst that is likely to happen is some bumps, bruises, and perhaps a broken bone. On a 200' coaster going 70+ MPH, if something happens, you aren't likely to survive.
My username is completely ironic just based on how often Intamin rides go down. That being said, 6 of the major incidents on Intamin rides were either completely rider fault or inconclusive.
1984 SFGA...the Edge, design flaw leading to ride to fall down wrong shaft
1991 KI....Flight Commander. Debatable what was the major contributor to the fall and subsequent death. Alcohol, combined with seat divider being designed poorly.
1999 Darien Lake..... restraint doesn’t close, though the weight of the man certainly contributed. Ride shouldn’t launch without restraint engaged, I chock this up more to poor design than the weight issue.
1999 CGA....drop Tower Death. Hard to argue Intamin at fault here since the crux of the family’s argument was that the restraint wasn’t properly locked vs a harness failure.
2002 KBF...perilous Plunge. Again hard to fault Intamin since the woman loosened her restraint to fit more comfortably.
2004 Oakwood...Hydro, girl falls and is killed. Jury renders verdict of girl being improperly restrained.
2004 SFNE....Superman, boy is ejected and dies. Now while the boy was improperly restrained, that train should not have been able to dispatch; I think this is clearly a case of faulty design.
2004 CP....TTD 4 injured when shards of debris strike after a failure of launch mechanism. Clearly Intamin At fault for bad design.
2007 KK....Superman Tower....cable snaps, KK fined for lack of maintenance. Normally I’d fault KK entirely for lack of maintenance; but the recurring theme of cables snapping on Intamin rides, makes me believe ALOT of the blame rests on Intamin for faulty design.
2009 KBF...Xcelerator cable snaps. I’m thinking design flaw.
2011 Ride of steel, rider thrown and killed.
While improper operations played a part in some incidents; and at least 2 incidents could be attributed to the rider. Overwhelmingly, Intamin is at fault in most of the incidents.
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