PKD Flat Ride ?

Thursday, January 8, 2004 2:08 AM
What is the name of the flat ride that was at PKD that allowed individuals to flip upside down and do acrobatic moves in the air. The gondolas were attached to arms that moved up and down a tower-reminding me of Condor. The ride was near Rebel Yell and the lake. What type of ride was it and who made it? The answers would be appreciated. Thankl you
Thursday, January 8, 2004 2:21 AM
Was it Apple Turnover? Or something along those lines?
Thursday, January 8, 2004 2:24 AM
It was PKD's version of Kings Island's "Flight Commander" built by Intamin. Both were the same ride, but I don't know the exact name. I know that doesn't help. PGA had one too.
Thursday, January 8, 2004 4:30 AM
I think it's SkyPilot you're thinking of - they lifted you up and you had a little joystick that could turn you upside down and in various other positions. Didn't last very long, did it?
Thursday, January 8, 2004 9:21 AM
I'm pretty sure the Apple Turnover was just an enterprise.
Thursday, January 8, 2004 10:17 AM
The ride that you descibed is Sky Pilot. The joystick allowed you to flip sideways or raise and lower the arm. I don't know how long it lasted in the park.
Thursday, January 8, 2004 10:53 AM
As others have stated, the ride you are referring to is the now-defunct "Sky Pilot."

Sky Pilot was added in 1989, and took the place of the "Monster" flat ride attraction. It was a focal point of the Candy Apple Grove themed area of the park. Adjacent to it was the Apple Turnover, a Schwarzkopf Enterprise.

Sky Pilot lasted until the 1998 season, and the Scrambler was later relocated to the Sky Pilot's spot. The Scrabler had taken the place of the Apple Turnover in the mid-1990s. When PKD decided to expland the waterpark from Hurricane Reef into Waterworks, the Scrambler was re-located to the vacated Sky Pilot spot. However, for 2003.... the Scrambler was relocated to the Congo area and Drop Zone took it's place. Confusing, huh? The bottom line is, Drop Zone Stunt Tower now resides where Sky Pilot was. There have been 4 rides in that location since PKD opened.

Here is a link to a picture of Candy Apple Grove when Sky Pilot was still located there....

As others have mentioned, Sky Pilot was designed and built by Intamin A.G. of Switzerland. The actual manufacturer's name was "Flight Trainer." It was a series of 18 cockpits that held two riders each. In between the riders, there was a joystick that allowed guests to control their own movements. They could raise up or down, roll over, or even stop the compartment upside down. As the arms that held the cars raised or lowered, riders could not perform manuevers, only when the ride was at it's highest point did the joysticks operate. As all cars raised and lowered, the computer system over-rode the joysticks.

I believe only 3 Intamin Flight Trainer rides ever existed in the US. All are defunct now. King's Dominions... of course, King's Island's which was called "Flight Commander" and there was one located in California at either Knott's Berry Farm or Great America.... I am not sure off the top of my head which park.

A few notable things about the ride.... PKD's was the only one I know of where riders were completely enclosed. There was a thick plexiglass canopy that lowered and "locked" riders in. The restraint system included an over-the-shoulder harness, as well as a leg/lap bar.

PKD's outlasted the other two, PKI removed theirs around 1996. And if you are unfamiliar, PKI's experienced a horrible tragedy when an intoxicated female fell from their version in 1991. An investigation discovered a flaw in the ride's restraint design and Intamin was faulted with the oversight. It was, and is the only ride re-lated fatality at King's Island. (Not including heart attacks etc.)Intamin no longer offers the ride in their catalog selection of amusement devices.

Here is another link to a site that has a pretty good picture of it, as well as some factual information.

FYI... the ride was a sloooow loader, and after it's inital debut at all parks was not a guest favorite. It was high maintenance, and the ride was less than thrilling. Both PKD's and PKI's were nearly always a walk-on attraction. PKD's actually still resides at the park.... in storage. Guests riding Anaconda can see it sitting in pieces in the ride graveyard in the back corner of the former Animal Safari reserve area.

*** Edited 1/8/2004 3:55:20 PM UTC by Shaggy***

Thursday, January 8, 2004 11:35 AM
If I'm not mistaken nothing was ever put on Apple turnover's former site other than the patio that now sits there alongside DZ...& a few midway games prior to DZ's debut.

Scrambler used to sit on international street(on the righthand side of the midway across from Berserker) & was moved directly to Sky pilot's former site in the early to mid 90's(I have a pic from 95 showing the ride in it's location before it was relocated for DZ)as for the ride itself I only rode it twice & never really liked it so I'm glad it's gone.

Thursday, January 8, 2004 11:45 AM
"(I have a pic from 95 showing the ride in it's location before it was relocated for DZ)

In 1995, Sky Pilot was still in operation, so the Scrambler could not have been operating in the Drop Zone location.

I'll see if I can dig up some comparison photos.


Thursday, January 8, 2004 11:59 AM
I remember seeing a Fly Out Commander...I mean Flight Trainer at Rye Playland several years ago. It was SBNO. When I went back the next year, it was gone and the pad where it was located was empty.

Wood - anything else is an imitation

Thursday, January 8, 2004 12:25 PM
Here are some comparison photos...

The first is the picture I listed above (from 1994) that shows Sky Pilot, with the Scrambler sitting nearby in the old Apple Turnover spot.

The next is a shot of the Scrambler sitting in the former Sky Pilot location. It also shows the "new" entrance to the water park for which the Scrambler was moved from the Apple Turnover spot.

Finally, this is a shot showing the area as it now stands. Drop Zone is now situated in the same spot where both Sky Pilot and the Scrambler were once located.

You are right in that the Scrambler was once located on International Street. The Scrambler has the distinction of being the most relocated ride at PKD. It has operated in 4 different areas of the park... International Street, Candy Apple Grove (two spots) and now Congo.

Similarly, the Flying Eagles has operated in three different areas of the park.... Congo, Waynes World and now Old Virginia.


Thursday, January 8, 2004 1:49 PM
Both Knott's and P. Great America had one of these. PGA was called Sky Hawk not sure of the name of the one at Knott's. I think Knott's version outlasted the rest.

Side note, I read once that the Statusphere Tower(LV) was considering this ride before going with the Space Shot. Imagine spinning upside down from that hieght.

Thursday, January 8, 2004 1:55 PM
Thanks guys for the information. It really helped a lot. I didn't know that there was a fatality with the PKI version of the ride. But I thought the ride was pretty cool since SFGAm didn't have one. But if the ride was as a bad as you guys said that it was, then I guess it was time for those rides to bite the dust. Once again-THANKS!!!
Thursday, January 8, 2004 1:56 PM
Knott's Flight Trainer was called XK-1 if memory serves me right.

Also, I think the program was modified after the PKI accident to prevent the cabins from stalling upside-down. When you moved the joystick left or right (please, no jokes!;)), the cabin would make a complete rotation in that direction unless you moved the stick in the opposite direction. The cabin would immediately change direction and center itself right-side up... or so I thought!

ray p. (who actually enjoyed the ride at PKI and PKD).

Edit- spelling error *** Edited 1/8/2004 6:56:55 PM UTC by ProgRay***

Thursday, January 8, 2004 2:24 PM
I thought you were just an expert on PKI, Shaggy, not PKD. Impressive!

P.S.- From your on-line pic, it looks like you've lost weight and gotten in shape! Congrats! You look great (not hitting on you- honest)! ;-)

Thursday, January 8, 2004 2:41 PM
LOL, thanks!

I did lose weight... 20 pounds.... and took up a pretty good excercise routine. But the holidays helped me gain back some and broke the routine. The pic was from late November.

Oh, and hit away.... I could use the ego boost. LOL

By the way, where's your pic? And no links to Megan Mulally from "Will and Grace" Ms. Beaverhausen ;-)

John K.

Thursday, January 8, 2004 3:40 PM
Glad you're not offended!

Regarding the lack of a pic- I don't have a digital camera (or a cell phone or a home PC, if you can believe it). To use a reference from a current thread, I'm in the Land of the Lost. ;-)


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