Chaos crash was caused by loose bolts

Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2002 12:11 PM | Contributed by ST chick

Michigan today released a report stating that loose bolts broke on the Chaos ride at Michigan's Adventure, causing the ride to come down. Cedar Fair has confirmed that the ride will not be brought back.

Read more from the Muskegon Chronicle.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 12:13 PM
Wow, loose bolts, I can't believe ride maintenance didn't catch that.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 12:15 PM
Jeff's avatar Will you take a Chance on Chaos? (rim-shot)

Sorry, had to say it. I credit Dan with the joke.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 12:16 PM
I think I'm going to cry. This and VertiGo...man, oh man. Oh, and I'll never get used to that music blaring from TBolt over by ST; the frequent phrase "you wanna go faster? Yell so the people on Timbers can hear you!!!" Will no longer be a challenge.

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Kara
403 Laps

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 12:22 PM
Expect the lawsuits to really come in. Which maintance would be responsible? CF or the old MA management?
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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 12:36 PM
Wow, somebody forgot to torque wrench the bolts? I'm guessing.

Jim Wolgamuth

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 12:49 PM
I believe lawsuits would be directed at CF since already owned the park at the time of the incident.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 12:57 PM
Chance issued a bulletin on those bolts well before the incident. Michigan's Adventure cannot prove...or at least has not so far proven...that the bolts were properly checked with a torque wrench as required by the manufacturer's bulletin. Another article (source unknown at the moment, but it was quoted on r.r-c) indicates that the park had been checking the bolts visually. Visually? How do you visually check bolt torque? The manufacturer says to put a wrench on it once a month. In the absence of a Rotabolt or other torque indicator, how else can you expect to check bolt torque?

Prediction: Cedar Fair is going to blame maintenance procedures that were already in place when they bought the park, procedures which do not reflect procedures at other Cedar Fair parks, or currently in place at Michigan's Adventure. In other words, they won't deny responsibility for the incident, but they will note that it could never have happened in their other parks.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 1:32 PM
Well this is not the first time I've heard of visually inspecting bolts. I mean there is the whole practice of "counting threads". But if the maker says use a torque wrench, then well, it's pretty clear what to do...
jeremy
--who is amazed at the number of people who put 87 octane fuel in thier "Premium Unleaded Only" cars
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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 2:07 PM
I wonder how they are able to test and conclude that the bolts were loose on the ride?  That seems pretty strange that they can actually figure stuff like that out.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 2:42 PM
ST chick, as long as they have stopped playing the song "It's Raining Men!" Every time I passed TBolt it was playing! Must have been a female ride op......and Jeff, (well Dan, really), that joke has been told many times, many ways! :) I mean, naming your company "Chance" is just asking for trouble!
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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 3:06 PM
What is Cedar Fair going to do with there other Chaos Rides at the other parks are they going to keep them running? I know Valleyfairs chaos has have its share with machanical problems.

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This will be my 8th year at Valleyfair, can I go for 10? I know 2003 will be our turn!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 3:30 PM
Chance is the name of the family that founded the company.As far as the counting thread procedure, you don't do that with a tension wheel, which is what the Chaos basic structure is. You either crawl into to the center with it laying down or with it up in the upright position and check all the critical fastners with torque wrench. No if and or's or but's .
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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 6:11 PM
Checking a bolt visually is really easy to do.  Once torqued to the proper pressure initially, simply apply a bit of really thick paint as a marker, and then all you do later is see if the mark lines up still.  If it doesn't, time to re-torque it.  However if the manufacturer says to torque it every month with a wrench, then you should.

-Ride_Op

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 6:19 PM
Jeff's avatar Cedar Point's Chaos was open and I'm sure it will continue to be open (except when it's broken down, which seems to be more than any other ride at the park).

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 6:55 PM
rollergator's avatar Guess Chaos was a good name for it after all...and I immediately apologize to those offended.    Visual inspection could also mean looking to see if the markings on the bolt and housing are still in line...gotta admit I really prefer maintenance to be "routine".   RideMan's prediction re: CF's "statement" tells me he doesn't need to call Miss Cleo...LOL.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 9:56 PM
Told Ya'll Rideman is the man! Great work...

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It's conflict that shows who a person really is!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002 10:51 PM
Considering how often the Chaos was late to open due to some random cause (usually hydraulic), I have a hard time believing the bolts weren't checked at leats once a month just because a torque wrench was laying around.
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Thursday, February 7, 2002 4:11 AM
...And that's where the documentation comes in.

The findings of the report were hardly a surprise. On Monday, July 30, the ride came apart, and on Friday, August 3, Chance issued a new bulletin (B408R1181-B)...but the information in the new bulletin was the same as the information in an older bulletin (B408R1181-A). What does it say? It says, "Using a torque wrench, check for proper torque of all 28 capscrews. Torque value for checking these capscrews must be 80 ft-lbs. IMPORTANT: ALL 28 CAPSCREWS MUST BE TIGHTENED AND MAINTAINED AS DESCRIBED TO OPERATE THE RIDE."

Michigan apparently asked, but Michigan's Adventure was not able or not willing to document that the torque had been checked. If it's not documented, then as far as the state is concerned, it never happened. Particularly since there is evidence (I'm guessing 56 half-bolts...) that the ride had loose bolts.

Now let's consider one other possible scenario. Remember, most of us don't work for Michigan's Adventure, and I don't think any of us worked on their Chaos. But according to the bulletin, it is likely that the Chaos in question used two different length bolts...some 1-3/4" long, some 2-1/4" long. It's entirely possible that one or more of the 2-1/4" bolts got installed into 1-3/4" deep holes, in which case, if the hole is almost but not quite deep enough for the longer bolt, that the bolt could be at 80 ft-lbs but still not tight. If that is the case, they could quite easily have checked the bolt torque monthly and still had a problem because of an installation error. Doubtful because I think 90 ft-lbs (the installation torque) might be enough in that case to snap the heads off, but certainly possible.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, February 7, 2002 4:24 AM
Is it possibel the park used bolts with the wrong hardness?
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