Restraint opens halfway through ride on LaRonde Boomerang

Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:00 PM | Contributed by DaveStroem

Halfway through the roller coaster ride, Alex Paradis's safety harness came off. The 12-year-old was left dangling, completely and utterly helpless, 35 metres above ground, halfway through his trip on the Boomerang, one of La Ronde's oldest thrill rides. Alex and his friend Marc Boudrias, also 12, boarded the coaster just after 4 p.m. during a trip to the amusement park on July 6. Despite the malfunction, they made it back to solid ground with no injuries -just a terrifying memory.

Read more from The Montreal Gazette.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:07 PM

Bad news: restraint came open during the ride cycle
Good news: the ride performed as designed and the riders made it back unharmed; [blah blah OTSRs are bad blah blah ;) ]

Mind you, were this a ride with any significant negative G's it could have very well ended horribly

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:17 PM

That's kind of scary. Granted, the forces on the ride will keep the rider in place, but what if it stalled in the loop or cobra roll? I wasn't aware that boomerang restraints could just come undone on those Arrow trains?

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:29 PM

jonnytips said:
Bad news: restraint came open during the ride cycle
Good news: the ride performed as designed

Yeah. Except for the restraint coming open during the ride cycle.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:32 PM

I'd be scared if I was that kid.

Countdown until some know-it-all chimes in and says... "Oh chill out man, I'd be fine, knowing that everything was functioning as it should, and the forces will keep me in the ride..." 3..2..

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:35 PM

Not a good occurrence at all. That being said, it makes me understand a bit more why Cedar Point and other parks are beginning to put seat belts on the arrow looper cars as a secondary restraint.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:36 PM

This is absolutely horrible. Anybody think this might be a design flaw that's been around for a while? I've had multiple friends complain to me about their restraints on Vekoma rides popping up a few clicks (and even a couple stories about it opening further, which I wrote off as an exaggeration). Now I'm seriously questioning whether I'll ride another Vekoma.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:39 PM

Considering the millions of cycles each year on Vekoma coasters methinks if this was a big problem it would happen more often.

And if it happened to me I'd be fine, knowing that everything was functioning as it should, and the forces will keep me in the ride.

;)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:45 PM

I heard a rumor that this may have happened during testing on a certain Corkscrew, and that is what prompted the seat belt installation. I don't know if it's true or not, and I seriously doubted it until I read this. Who knows.

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:46 PM
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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:59 PM

^^ Know-it-all!

Does M:TR have some type of secondary restraint?

Last edited by obxKevin, Thursday, July 22, 2010 2:00 PM
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Thursday, July 22, 2010 2:01 PM

I have heard about this happening before on Arrow coasters. I always thought of it as exaggeration, but now I'm not so sure.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 2:39 PM

obxKevin said: Does M:TR have some type of secondary restraint?

Yes, and it requires both hands :)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 2:54 PM

Vater said:


jonnytips said:
Bad news: restraint came open during the ride cycle
Good news: the ride performed as designed

Yeah. Except for the restraint coming open during the ride cycle.

Designed, as in ride kept riders pushed up/in, not... sigh. You know

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 3:02 PM

Yeah, but this isn't one of those "OMG, my restraint unlocked and the secondary restraint kept me in OMG the park almost killed me OMG, I was in so much non-danger" kind of news stories.

The restraint came open, and had the ride stalled, which also could happen, then, what? Just because in this instance the kids were okay, to me, doesn't make this a non-story. This had the potential to be a disaster, where as a backup system working properly doesn't.

I'd prefer my backup system to not be gravity or G forces alone.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Thursday, July 22, 2010 3:03 PM
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Thursday, July 22, 2010 4:54 PM

My poo restraining system likely would have opened up too.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 4:54 PM

We were on Le Boomerang the day before this incident.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 4:55 PM

Your poo restraining system would have kept me off the ride, and thusly I'd still be safe in the end ;).

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 6:56 PM

DaveStroem said:
We were on Le Boomerang the day before this incident.

Okay, Dave, then perhaps you can explain how the bar "came open" then.

Let's assume, for the moment, that this is an Arrow or Vekoma train of the usual type, with the shoulder bars. The train has a roller on the back corner of each car, and when that roller comes into contact with the mechanical release rail in the station, the bars unlock. Likewise, there is a pedal on the rear corner of each car, and if the pedal is pushed, the bars in the car all release. Furthermore, because of the mechanical or hydraulic-mechanical system, there are a number of ways that the system could potentially be tripped, perhaps by a linkage failure in the car or something like that.

It is reasonable to assume that the release mechanism was tripped, because apparently all four shoulder bars in that particular car released.

Now here's where they lose me...

In the Arrow and Vekoma trains, the shoulder bars are stable. When the mechanism is released, regardless of whether it is the all-mechanical system or the hydraulic system, *the bars do not move*. In order for the bars to move, the rider has to push against them.

(this is in contrast to the Intamin hydraulic bars, which are forced open by stored pressure in an in-system accumulator when they are released)

Does the LaRonde coaster use a different system or configuration from every other Boomerang I have ever ridden?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 7:03 PM

Wow. How terrifying.

Now imagine if those restraints popped open on let's say...Magic Mountain's Viper. Those boys would probably be in the morgue right now.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 7:06 PM

When the mechanism is released, regardless of whether it is the all-mechanical system or the hydraulic system, *the bars do not move*. In order for the bars to move, the rider has to push against them.

That's what I don't understand either. I immediately went to rcdb, and it looks like normal Arrow restraints that have had some padding overlaid around them. But otherwise the train looks normal, and for the shoulder bars to have moved, they would have had to have been manually moved.

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