Ferris wheel gets stuck, Tigers fans get perks

Posted Thursday, July 5, 2001 6:52 AM | Contributed by supermandl

Riders of a Ferris wheel in Detroit were stranded for two hours when the wheel stopped turning. The riders were given a number of things for their inconvenience.

Read about it from AP via Yahoo.

Thursday, July 5, 2001 6:56 AM
Yeah it was one of the first stories here in Detroit. The Fire Dep. rescued all 50 one by one.

Live to have FUN!

Go Shamrocks!
Go Wolverines!
Thursday, July 5, 2001 8:28 AM
Yeah, I saw it on the news.
Thursday, July 5, 2001 8:46 AM
Hmm, would it be totally unreasonable for Ferris Wheels to have some sort of hand-crank, hand-pedal system that could rotate the wheel should the motor stop turning it.
David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville
Thursday, July 5, 2001 9:05 AM
Only if they hire some very burly ride ops...
Thursday, July 5, 2001 9:19 AM
john peck's avatar I wonder if this was a Zamperla model
Thursday, July 5, 2001 9:24 AM
Ya, I was at the game and saw it stuck around the 5th innning. All I saw was some workers trying to decide how to get the people down and some firefighters bringing a cherrypicker over. Then I had to go back and watch the tigers win... :)
Thursday, July 5, 2001 10:15 AM
I believe it is a Zamperla Balloon Wheel.

Those things are driven by TEFC DC motors connected to a variable frequency inverter. If it was, as described in the story, a "compressor failure" then perhaps it was a problem of not being able to release the holding brake.

This brings up two questions, though...

a) If it was an air-released holding brake, could they have not connected an alternative air supply to get the wheel turning again? Fire trucks have air compressors on them, you know...

b) If it was a motor problem (a problem with a blower on a fan-cooled motor will keep the motor from running) then why could they have not manually pushed the wheel around? Unload the bottom tub, and push the wheel around...it will become increasingly unbalanced as it is unloaded until it will easily push itself around. I know that's how you unload a Rock-O-Plane or an Eli wheel without power...!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Who thinks fire departments have the wrong mindset about getting people off of high rides...it's always safer to bring the ride down first if possible...!
Thursday, July 5, 2001 11:45 AM
Why does it take 2 hours to get 50 people off a ferris wheel?
Thursday, July 5, 2001 3:47 PM
"I REALLY want to get off Ferris Wheel 1!"
Scale model coasters and rides.....
Thursday, July 5, 2001 5:52 PM
Finally some news in the Detroit area!

Thursday, July 5, 2001 7:29 PM
The footage they showed here in Chicago on that news just makes wonder why this ferris wheel looks so goofy. I have never seen a ferris like this.

Chitowns 6 year old daughter says "Daddy, Dippin Dots are nasty!!" I must say that I agree!!
Friday, July 6, 2001 4:59 AM
It's because there is no rim. There are twelve gigantic spokes attached directly to the center hub and with a gondola on the end. Most of us are not used to seeing that style of wheel.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Friday, July 6, 2001 6:47 AM
ShiveringTim's avatar Just for those who are unfamiliar with this story, this wheel is located in a food court at Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, which also has a neat looking all tiger carousel.

Scott W. Short
Friday, July 6, 2001 9:07 AM
If air pressure is required to get people off the wheel it would seem to be a minimum design requirement that the air reservoir have enough volume to hold the air required for unloading the wheel in the event of compressor or electrical power failure.

But, the news often doesn't get things straight. It may have been something else in the air system that failed making it impossible to get the air from the reservoir to the cylinder, such as a broken air line.
Friday, July 6, 2001 6:34 PM
At least everyone was ok.
and they got a good deal from the stuff they got.
Friday, July 6, 2001 9:47 PM
Man, that would suck to get stuck on a ferris wheel!

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