Thursday, June 9, 2005 3:32 PM
I mentioned this earlier this week in my SFGam trip report
from 6/6/05, but after talking it over with some friends, I was wondering if anyone else noticed this...
While riding Iron Wolf, I got smacked in the face with a small tree branch while the train was completing it's final turn into the break run. I was seated (standing) in the 2nd row - far right. I didn't complain, as I was just hit in the forehead and not the eye, so it didn't hurt all that much, but it got me thinking about clearance issues with the trees surrounding rides.
Iron Wolf is about 15 years old now. The surrounding trees have grown significantly since the ride was installed. One of my favorite things about Iron Wolf is that it dives and twists through a wooded area, but I would think that Six Flags (or any park, for that matter) would take steps to make sure there was enough clearance so that riders wouldn't be potentially injured by the foliage.
Has this happened to anyone else before on Iron Wolf? Has anyone experienced this on other roller coasters? Should I call Six Flags & tell them?
What do you think?
*** Edited 6/9/2005 7:33:30 PM UTC by djgreghaus***
Thursday, June 9, 2005 3:47 PM
I have mentioned it to a few employees. The branches on Iron Wolf for the past 2 seasons have been REALLY close to the train. Especially coming around the turn going through the loop...I think the train actually might graze them.
If your sitting on the left side of the train, you can easily get hit by the pine trees. A friend of mine came off with tons of pine needles stuck in his hand and I have seen it happen to others as well.
Thursday, June 9, 2005 3:54 PM
I had this problem with Whizzer not Iron Wolf, came around the corner and whap, got a branch across the hands, dang did that hurt.
Thursday, June 9, 2005 4:12 PM
That's interesting, Dave. If you already mentioned this to employees and nothing was done, I don't imagine they're in any rush to trim those suckers anytime soon. I too noticed the trees near the loop, and even commented on them before boarding the ride.
I can almost understand them not trimming branches within "arms reach", as technically we are supposed to "keep all hands and feet inside the car at all times", but when they are close enough to hit people in the face, that could potentially be a problem.
And Crazyforcoasters, I could see a lot of things hitting guest's hands on The Whizzer, especially if they're not careful - it comes perilously close to the ground at one point, which is one of the coolest parts of the ride.
Thursday, June 9, 2005 9:36 PM
Back in May i was riding it back row,farthest right seat and i had my hands up and the next thing u know right before the corkscrew i got hit right in the hand and when the ride came to a halt, i looked at my hand to only see i did get hit hand was hurting and had a green residue from the branch.
Its basically a matter that needs to be fixed because i went to the park yesterday and even heard a girl on the train say she was hit by a branch. Its happening on a daily basis and its just something that needs to be done before someone gets a nice big whack in the face and puts a lawsuit on the park.
Friday, June 10, 2005 1:54 AM
Was your hand in the car at all times? If your not going to follow the rules they have posted (I don't either, but just for arguments sake) then why should the park cater to you if your just breaking their rules anyway.
Friday, June 10, 2005 8:46 AM
Another side of that argument would be: how does one determine what is 'inside' or 'outside' a stand-up coaster train? The branches should be trimmed to allow enough room for any rider to be unable to reach them with any of their extremities. This picture
shows that clearances are tested with riders' outstreched arms in mind.
Friday, June 10, 2005 9:17 AM
I sent Ron Sevart at SFGAm an email this am to let him know about this and linking these messages. Hopefully it will be taken care of very soon.
Friday, June 10, 2005 10:06 AM
Thanks, Brad. I didn't really know who to contact over there, or if it would even matter. I appreciate you getting the info to him.
Friday, June 10, 2005 10:36 AM
If you didn't want to get hit in the head, why'd ya get on Iron Wolf in the first place? ;)
Friday, June 10, 2005 10:44 AM
I've been brushed lightly with tree branches while either going into one of the corkscrews or coming out of them on Demon at SFGAm. This is coming from the right-side seats.
Friday, June 10, 2005 12:32 PM
Hey, why not strap a bunch of weed whackers to the front car and send it around once or twice? That oughtta do it. ;)
Saturday, June 11, 2005 7:00 AM
If you didn't want to get hit in the head, why'd ya get on Iron Wolf in the first place?
Actually, my Monday morning ride on Iron Wolf was the smoothest, least "head-bangy" ride I've had on the coaster since the early 90s. Even with the shrubbery smack, it was far more pleasant than some of my other experiences with Iron Wolf the past few seasons.
DejaVu The Ride
Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:58 PM
Yes, one of Iron Wolf's trains received a nice rehab over the off-season. The second one has been running very well also.(At least in the front.)