Report says safety sensor was adjusted prior to fatal accident on Orlando Free Fall

Posted Monday, April 18, 2022 3:59 PM | Contributed by Jeff

A report by an engineering firm, commissioned by the state, determined that a safety sensor had been adjusted on the Orlando Free Fall that allowed the ride to be dispatched with a seat harness that opened twice as far as other seats. From the report:

The cause of the subject accident was that Tyre Sampson was not properly secured in the seat primarily due to mis-adjustment of the harness proximity sensor. The mis-adjustment of the sensor allowed both safety lights to illuminate, improperly satisfying the ride's electronic safety mechanisms and allowing the ride to commence even though the ride was unsafe.

Read the entire report from Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis as commissioned by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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Monday, April 18, 2022 4:40 PM

Criminal negligence.
Impossible not to feel absolutely awful for this family.

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Monday, April 18, 2022 6:06 PM
Jeff's avatar

I imagine in the next part of the investigation we'll learn how good their maintenance records are.

This report largely confirms what we were armchairing about the restraint minimum closure distance. I don't recall that the manual called this out, or maybe there's a separate maintenance manual (as there is for a car, for example).


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Monday, April 18, 2022 7:19 PM

The manual we have been able to read does NOT call out the maximum restraint closure distance. My claim thus far has been that the manual specifically does not mention the existence of the go/!go system in regard to securing patrons on the ride. The closest we come to that is the 3-a-day restraint test procedure which is intended to confirm the integrity of both restraint locking cylinders. Even the maintenance details say nothing about the proper adjustment of the bar position switches, which seems to me like it might be a safety-critical measurement. I find it rather surprising that neither the manufacturer nor TÜV seems to have specified this measurement in any form.

Now I'm off to read the article and report...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Tuesday, April 19, 2022 12:53 PM

If as described, then someone is going to jail.

adjusting things to make your own “Big Boy” seat is just stupid and these folks are about to find out the hard way

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022 11:03 PM

The report is damning, but until investigators speak to maintenance staff and ride owners it's premature to chalk this up to illegally modifying the ride as opposed to shoddy maintenance.

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Thursday, April 21, 2022 11:35 PM

I think that's what I appreciated the most about the report. It says what the investigators found. It does not speculate in any way about what those findings mean. For instance, they found that the switches on a couple of seats were tightened into position as on other seats, then repositioned and tightened again. No speculation about when it was done, who had access to do it, why it was done, or any other details. Not even an indication that this was a definite cause of the incident. Only the fact that the shoulder bar on the seat Tyre Samson was sitting in was adjusted in this particular manner.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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Friday, April 22, 2022 10:13 PM

What I am finding confusing, or perhaps misleading, is that these articles all state that the ride operator modified certain seats to make them able to fit larger patrons. My friend is adamant that this means the actual button pusher on the ride, and I keep telling her that’s not likely the case and that the articles likely mean someone gave an order to maintenance or whoever to modify the seats in question. Thoughts on this? I have seen that the family of this young man is NOT suing the ride operators from that night but is going after everyone else, which indicates to me that modifications were done by someone higher up the totem pole.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Friday, April 22, 2022 10:25 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Operator, in this instance, means operating entity. It does not mean ride attendant.

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Saturday, April 23, 2022 1:50 AM

A reading from the third section of ASTM Standard F747-21a. Thus sayeth the ASTM Committee F24:

designer/engineer-- party(s) that establishes and describes the configuration of the amusement ride or device, establishes strength and fatigue life, designs and develops electrical/electronic control systems, and defines inspection criteria.

(...)

manufacturer-- party producing the amusement ride or device, performing major modifications and can include the designer/engineer.

(...)

operator-- the person having direct control of the starting, stopping, or speed of an amusement ride.

(...)

owner/operator-- person or organization that is responsible for the maintenance and operation of an amusement ride or device.

This is the word of the ASTM F24 Committee.

So that everyone can be on the same page (quite literally), these are selected applicable definitions which are applied with these specific meanings wherever they appear in the ASTM standards maintained by Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices. Whether or not the media understands this, these are the definitions as they are presented to, understood by, and used within the industry, and these are the applications of terminology which should be used by industry organizations particularly when preparing reports on safety-related issues pertaining to amusement rides or devices in the purview of said ASTM technical committee.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Member of ASTM Committee F24, but that stuff was all written before I joined...


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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