Girl dies after being flung from a ride at a New Jersey festival

Sunday, October 13, 2019 3:44 PM

Sad news from New Jersey. Doesn't really give much in the way of details, but the question I have is: How is a Super Sizzler different from a traditional Scrambler?

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/13/us/new-jersey-festival-ride-death-trnd/index.html

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Sunday, October 13, 2019 4:19 PM

first video I saw on Youtube shows the passenger cars spinning backwards, with respect to the main hub's forward motion. Not sure if that is SOP or just that particular carnival. It appears like any other sizzler/scrambler type ride.

Mfr minimum height is 42", 48" without adult.

going by past incidents, I'm going to guess, single rider, in an improper riding position, (perhaps parallel to the seat bench?)

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Sunday, October 13, 2019 4:43 PM
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Sunday, October 13, 2019 10:09 PM

Walt S said:
How is a Super Sizzler different from a traditional Scrambler?

I know the answer to this. For years Wisdom made the Sizzler, their answer to Eli Bridge’s Scrambler. Sizzler has the same basic motion, and is a “grass cutter”- it builds on the actual ground like a lot of Scramblers and Twists. The Super Sizzler is an improved version with a backdrop, better overall flash, and a fold-out raised aluminum platform. It also runs at a higher speed, providing extra (and sometimes excruciating) thrills. A main mechanical difference between it and a Scrambler is the drive. Scramblers have sweeps that are shaft driven- their motion only happens and is relative to the movement of the center column. On a Sizzler you find separate drive motors for each set of smaller sweeps, so they turn independent of the center column. Often the ride starts slowly with just the center turning then the op can really cut loose by increasing the speed of the sweeps as the cycle progresses. Another difference between the two is the restraints. On a Sizzler the bar falls away from the tub and forms a little step in the front of the nose of each car. So you enter from the front instead of the side, like on a Scrambler.

At this year’s Ohio State Fair a rather older looking Super Sizzler was booked in, and I was astounded by how fast it went. (I declined to ride) This version in New Jersey seems a lot nicer- well, it was re-named “Extreme” and had newer, modern looking paint and lighting. I don’t know how new (or old) it is.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019 2:22 PM

RCMAC I often find your posts informative and interesting. Thanks.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019 9:09 PM

I’m very skeptical about the safety and reliability of any traveling ride. Millions of people enjoy and ride these things every year without incident, so I guess they must be somewhat safe. But when these tragedies inevitably happen it seems to happen on one of these things more often than an attraction at a big amusement park. I also understand that there are at least some risks involved every time a person boards a ride, but that risk increases when rides are reassembled over and over, operators aren’t trained property, and general guidelines for safety requirements are overlooked or ignored. Learning about these things makes me sad and angry. I won’t get on them and try to explain the to friends and loved ones that carnival rides are potentially VERY dangerous. Usually I’m met with some response such as “those rides are perfectly fine. They can’t be any worse than those insane roller coasters you ride”. Well, Angie I’d rather sit on a lift hill or block break for hours instead of dead. Do you guys ride carnival rides? Or am I being irrational?

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 8:05 AM

I don’t ride anything regularly disassembled in less then a day. When I go to fairs I go for the food and exhibits/exhibitions and never go on the rides. Heck, I won’t go to Mt Olympus anymore because I think they are not much better.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 12:01 PM

I’d call your fear somewhat irrational.
I am a close follower and fan of the outdoor amusement industry, and not just amusement parks, but I’d say especially the carnival industry. I like flats, and these days the majority of those spectacular rides travel. If I want to see and take a ride on the latest amusement ride I have to go to the fair. In fact, every season I look forward to learning what new pieces certain shows have acquired and where they will appear.
I’ve met and visited with many showmen and women who take their industry very seriously. Many represent generations of families who take pride in the safe entertainment they have provided fair goers over the decades. And I can assure you, the last thing anybody wants is an accident. I don’t think there’s anything inherent to the business that separates a portable ride from a permanent one. In fact, many of the flat rides we climb aboard at amusement parks are actually portable rides in disguise. They arrive on the same trailers, are built up the same way, and give the same number of rides. In other words, a Scrambler is a Scrambler is a Scrambler. Rides can be purchased as a “park model”, which usually comes void of platforms, flashy scenery, or foundations. The price is lower, but then parks are left to supply and build their own surroundings. Many times the ride is built into a pit in the ground, but the mechanics are the same. The next time you ride a swinging ship at a park, look below the boat as it swings. 9 times out of 10 the ride is still sitting on the trailer platform it was born with. This is especially apparent when observing well known and highly regarded amusement parks like Knoebel’s or Kennywood. A lot of their flats are just portable rides with landscaping that never leave their spots for 6 months or longer. Sometimes the parks take measures to hide the fact and many don’t, especially Knoebel’s.
On both sides of the business, safety is number one. All rides are inspected thoroughly and regularly. There’s a common misconception that carnival rides are unsafe because they’re torn down and built up again on an average of every ten to twenty days, depending on the booking. And because of that I’m actually inclined to trust those rides a little more. Think of it this way- portable rides may in fact fall under greater, more regular scrutiny than those in parks. And don’t get me wrong- every location, permanent or temporary, in most states require licensed, state inspectors to tag a ride as safe before it’s allowed to open to the public. But I feel a build-up inspection of a ride every week might be better than a basic nuts and bolts inspection theme parks rides get. Many amusement parks, during the off season, will dismantle flat rides, X-ray them, and repair or replace anything that’s worn, but that’s less frequent than what carnival rides get.

And sadly, accidents happen. I live in Ohio and we are vendors and exhibitors at our state fair. As many of you know, we were the scene of one of the most tragic amusement ride accidents to happen in a while and I can assure you it hasn’t been forgotten. Much has been done to reassure the public that Ohio is especially diligent in making sure all safety guidelines are met, and my observations over the last several years has been that they go above and beyond what’s required.

I guess my advice, as it is my practice, would be to do a little homework before riding. Check state regulations. Check the show itself for its safety record. Be alert- if something looks sketchy or wrong, or if there’s wrong-doing on an operator’s part, say something. Every show has an office trailer and they sit there all day long waiting to hear from you. They also like to hear from patrons who have had a good time and were treated well, so don’t be shy.
Also keep in mind that ‘danger’ lurks everywhere. Every time I hear from someone who “won’t put their kids on those rides” I wonder if they hesitate to put them on a school bus, on the escalator at Macy’s, or even on their bicycles at home. And whether they realize there’s not much difference whether the rides be at the State Fair or at Cedar Point. Both are committed to their patrons’ safety.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 2:40 PM

RCMAC said:

I’d call your fear somewhat irrational.

I'd call your unwavering trust somewhat irrational, too.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 2:46 PM

yawetag said:

I'd call your unwavering trust somewhat irrational, too.

I'd call interpreting what RCMac said as "unwavering trust" as somewhat irrational as well.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, October 30, 2019 2:46 PM
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 2:57 PM

As with most perceived "dangerous" activities, you're taking a greater risk in the car ride there.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 4:08 PM

Right, but playing devil's advocate, what's the alternative? Driving/riding in a vehicle is practically a necessity unless you live in an urban enough area that you can walk everywhere. Carnival rides can easily be avoided.

Maybe it is irrational, but I tend to think twice about getting on traveling carnival rides. I generally don't when I'm at a theme park.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 4:51 PM

And I’d say that YOU’RE being somewhat irrational, because... oh never mind.

I guess I just don’t see the amusement industry as apples to oranges. Well, maybe oranges to oranges at best, but it really is pretty much the same.
I don’t climb cliffs, skydive, ski, or whitewater raft. No thanks. I think the adventurous hobby I’ve chosen carries enough peril with it, thank you.
Years ago a few of us were speaking with a park owner. In regaling us with stories about what the day-to-day was like, they stopped to most seriously mention safety and how it's everyone’s constant prayer, every single day, that there’s no accident.
And I know the carnival owners I’ve spoken with feel the same way.

I don’t know, but was the cause of the girl’s fall ever determined?

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 5:28 PM

One day I forgot to tie my shoe. Somehwere along the way, I stepped on that shoelace and stumbled. I didn't fall and easily escaped the ordeal unharmed, but the thought of what could've happened...

...I just can't.

Terrifying. I don't know how people do it.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 5:52 PM

One day I avoided calamity and potential injury because I was in Paris.

wait...

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 6:10 PM

Exactly.

The biggest tragedy in all of that was the lack of ice. Which affected me most profoundly.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, October 30, 2019 6:14 PM
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Thursday, October 31, 2019 3:15 PM

<Something about guns>

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Thursday, October 31, 2019 3:16 PM
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