Is Drop Zone unsafe?

Thursday, April 17, 2003 4:10 PM
When I went to Pkd, I looked at Drop Zone, it has white things that go up and down it (I guess for the brakes, I dont know how it works) my friend said if that the gondola (what is it?) doesnt line up with the white lines on it, the gondola could come to a complete stop, putting to much g's on the riders, is that true??
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Thursday, April 17, 2003 4:16 PM
I dont really know but I'll guess that nobody would open a ride that is unsafe.
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Thursday, April 17, 2003 4:25 PM
Your friend may be right; there are brake fins that extend part way up the tower, and those brake fins line up with the magnetic brake calipers on the gondola. If the gondola should be misaligned, the calipers will hit the brake fins and either destroy the brake fins, rip the calipers off, jam the gondola, or some combination of the above. In other words, Bad Things™ would happen.

But thing about this a little more rationally. The gondola rides on tracks mounted on the perimeter of the tower. The brake calipers are held in a rigid position relative to the tracks by the gondola frame, and the brake fins are held in rigid position relative to the tracks by their mounting frame. Nothing can rotate or shift more than a fraction of an inch, certainly less than the allowable slop on the brake caliper. In other words, for the Bad Things™ described above to happen, it would be necessary for Really Really Really Bad Things™ to happen, and they would have to happen between the time the gondola exited the brakes on the way up and the time it reenters the brakes on the way down.

The odds of such a catastrophic failure happening are extremely small.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 4:46 PM
The thing that has the brake fins doesn't rotate.

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God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts!

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 5:10 PM
Also, the PKD drop zone does not rotate, S00perGIR.

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- John

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 5:17 PM
It rotates when it feels like rotating. I hate that. You get the parking lot side and the whole ride is lame. That thing has a bed temper.

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Beware, you may lose your glasses to THE BEAST!
Wooden-Son of Beast
Steel-Millenium Force
Inverted-Nemisis
Thrill Ride-Tomb Raider: The Ride

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 5:27 PM
Thanks Rideman, If you could tell me how the whole Drop Zone thing works, I would greatly appreciate it, Thanks for the long explanation!
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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:06 PM
The PKD Drop Zone rotates now and then, Tyler? Weird. It didn't rotate at all the day I was there. I just assumed that it didn't.

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- John

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:33 PM
From what I understand of the design it doesn't rotate. Maybe Tyler has it confused with the tower near him at PKI which does rotate.

If you really want to scare yourself, just think of all the things that could break on your car on the way to the park resulting in a crash.

The simple fact is amusement rides are much safer than cars.
*** This post was edited by Jim Fisher 4/17/2003 11:34:58 PM ***

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:42 PM
Amen to that, Jim! And when was the last time you conducted a bumper-to-bumper inspection on your car? And remember your car is filled with volitile, flammable fuels, engines which produce incentiary explosions at high temperature and pressure.........

It runs on pneumatic tires, with no run-flat capability and with no back-up system, many critical systems are not redundant...cars are scary!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:42 PM
The PKI Drop Zone rotates?

Even if it doesn't rotate, isn't the gondola still in the same kind of danger as if it did rotate?

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:48 PM
Yeah, the PKI Drop Zone rotates. The outer ring, with the seats, rotates, as the inner ring, which runs up and down the tower, does not.

Again, the key is that all the parts of the inner ring are laterally fixed relative to the tower, so unless something Really Really Really Bad happens, there is very little that can go wrong.

The alignment issue is very similar to the situation on any steel coaster with fin brakes, where the wheel carriers hold the car in line so that it can properly engage with the brake caliper.

The upshot of all this: Ride Drop Zone fearlessly. If you can. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:51 PM
I have seen Drop zone.... it is really high. It seats 50 people, so the line isn't to bad, I mean 305 ft high, that is really high, as tall as the drop on Millenium Force right?

How can I ride Drop Zone fearlessly? I don't know.....

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:56 PM
Riders are dropped from a height of 272', the entire tower itself is 305'.
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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:58 PM
Pay no attention to what RideMan says, Drop Zone is one of the most dangerous rides around...you could even call it dangerously dangerous. If you value your life, do not ride. Heed my warning!!
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Thursday, April 17, 2003 8:08 PM
Raven_Rider are you sure you're not talking about Viagraphobia down at SFOG? :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 8:09 PM
Hahahaha!!- Sure
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Thursday, April 17, 2003 8:19 PM

Anaconda said:
Thanks Rideman, If you could tell me how the whole Drop Zone thing works, I would greatly appreciate it, Thanks for the long explanation!

Here it goes...(Ya'll correct me if I'm wrong..;) )
As the gondola rises on the tower, copper builds up in the "brake rails" or whatever you would like to call them. Then, when the gondola reaches the brakes, the copper helps repell the direction of the cars, giving a nice easy stop, as the copper is decreased.

Though, if the gondola is missaligned by even a half an inch, could in sense cause havoc, either ripping the caliber plain off, or just destruction of the area of the tower.. inevitably just stopping the gondola where it was. Really, there is not much that can go wrong, the gondola is mounted on a heavily secured path, almost giving the ride a failsafe ride through it's lifetime. There is rarely if ever and danger with any of the Intamin drop towers...

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Shaun Rajewski
CoasterLine
http://www.coasterline.com

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 8:24 PM
if the ride werent safe, it would be taken down and no one would be allowed to ride it....
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Thursday, April 17, 2003 8:32 PM
Ok, thanks Rctycoon2k, for the long explanation of how it works. I know that the chances of having something really really bad happening are slim, but I am just saying if that small possibility would happen.
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