Cedar Point WildCat crash injures seven

Posted | Contributed by Raven-Phile

Seven people suffered bumps and bruises, but no serious injuries after two cars collided in the station on Cedar Point's WildCat. Four people were treated at the first aid station and another three were taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center as a precautionary measure. There they were treated and released.

Read more from The Sandusky Register.

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In that case it would lead me to believe the cause was mechanical, the ladder logic would've stopped the car at the block point unless the car was past the block point when the fault occurred. In that case the car would've been stopped at the next block(unload). So like someone mentioned above the car might have slid into another, or the fault occurred in the unload block and since the next car was past it's block it had nowhere to go. That's my $.02, but I'm not familiar with the rides logic system. If it's AB controls, there's your problem ;)

The question might be, is the timer in the PLC for that block maybe cutting it close? You would want that timer to be shorter so that the car cannot get through the block before the logic can act. Could be a timer overlap that is too long?

Last edited by JoshuaTBell,

The only thing they would use a timer for is to pulse the brakes: close the brake, wait for an interval, check to see if the car has proceeded to the next switch, if not then open the brake for a predetermined interval, then repeat the cycle. In fact, I think Wildcat does something like that as the car enters the final brake, in order to reduce the severity of the stop. In any case, arriving at the control point would interrupt any timer in progress and cause the brake to slam shut. In fact, that's exactly what we see on a typical cycle when the train hits the final braking point where the lap bar pops open....that sudden stop is the brake closing immediately on the fin when the car reaches that point.

Everything in the blocking system is event-driven, because there is no way to predict how long it will take for the car to make it through any of the blocks. Incidentally, for what it's worth, I have learned that the block system on the Wildcat uses prox switches rather than relying entirely on (appropriately enough) "cat's whisker" limit switches.

With that in mind, the most likely possibilities are that either the final block got cleared prematurely, or a block brake failed. The "following" car would not have been permitted to enter the final block unless the "leading" car had already checked out. A brake failure could have happened in which a brake was commanded to close (to enforce block integrity) but the car failed to stop.

One thing that we can be reasonably certain of, though, is that the park staff is confident that they know exactly what went wrong to cause the incident. How do we know this? Because the ride is back up and running again.

And next time I am up there, I will make sure to ride it. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

rollergator's avatar

RideMan said:
And next time I am up there, I will make sure to ride it. :)

But Dave, "it" is only available at Morey's! ;)

Seriously, though, Cedar Downs and Wildcat (and Blue Streak) are really the only non-optional rides whenever I manage a CP trip...I'm big on "the classics." :)

Raven-Phile's avatar

I really wish I had a Wildcat in my back yard, for even a week. I'd have a ton of fun with that.

RideMan, That makes sense, an event based logic system would guarantee safety and redundancy far better then a timer based ladder. I will agree also that photo/laser prox are far superior to the older analog "trigger sticks". Take the mechanics out of your switch and eliminate the failure modes.

Heck, I would love to have any ride in my backyard, an old carnival/boardwalk classic would be very cool.

Last edited by JoshuaTBell,

Thanks for all the info RideMan. Clears a ton of questions up. Would also love to have a Wildcat in the backyard. It was always one of those odd lottery winning ideas I had as a kid. They always seemed a giant oversized coaster toy to me.

Of all the portable steel coasters of that size, Wildcat takes the cake. Certainly better than the Galaxies or Zyklons out there - the layout is fun, imaginative, and action packed. I've always thanked Cedar Point for keeping it in one form or another as part of their coaster arsenal since 1970.

When I worked at Cedar Point the original Wildcat sat on the beach where the Stadium is now, and it was entirely manually operated. I had a buddy that worked the ride and one unfortunate day he wasn't paying strictest attention to his duties at the final brake (which I believe was a lever) and let a car fly thru with passengers in it. There was a collision, injuries, and needless to say it was the last I saw of my friend. - he was fired and removed immediately.

Off subject, but speaking of small steel rides, I finally got my first ride on a Flitzer last week at Jenkinson's at Point Pleasant beach in New Jersey. Quite serendipitously, too, (and it's a story for a trip report, perhaps) but for lack of anything better to do I wound up spending a few days at the amazingly tacky but fascinating Seaside Heights. On my last evening a stranger directed me to Jenkinson's, which I had no idea was only 20 minutes up the shore. I went for the wonderful Fun House, and was delighted to see they had a Flitzer too. It was in beautiful shape, ran well, and I thought it was a great little ride. Too bad more of those don't still exist, it would be a great "oldie" for a small to medium sized park.

Last edited by RCMAC,
Vater's avatar

I haven't ridden a Flitzer since I was probably 9 or 10. I remember it being a lot of fun. I hadn't seen one without the scenery before, which I thought made the ride great, not knowing exactly where you were going (riding at night enhanced that--I don't think I ever rode it in the daytime).

I was always partial to the SDC Galaxi, as I had grown up riding Kings Dominion's until it was removed. But Wildcat is definitely a better ride with a more interesting layout.

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