Posted Monday, August 11, 2014 6:16 PM | Contributed by Vater
Firefighters rescued 24 riders who were stranded for hours Sunday atop the Joker's Jinx roller coaster at Six Flags America in Largo, officials said. The ride stalled at about 3 p.m., park officials tweeted, stranding the riders on a high curve.
Read more and see video from The Baltimore Sun and WJZ.
Looks like it stalled after the very first loop, which seems a bit strange to me. I'm guessing there must have a been a launch failure of some kind which caused the train to not get up to enough speed?
It seems like you would have to launch it at exactly the right speed given the mass of people in the train, or have a wheel fail at the right moment, or get something in the way of a wheel. In any case, it's pretty much just dumb luck.
Heard rumors (confirmed at this point) that Poltergeist is shuttered temporarily. Is it safe to assume the same is true for the other Premier LIM bowls?
Rather odd thing to happen. At least the riders got off safely after such a gruelling ordeal. There go my plans for later in the week; was thinking of visiting Six Flags America for the first time - just to have something to do on my 63rd birthday - and Joker's Jinx was on my list of things to ride. I guess not! This is the second coaster incident at a Six Flags park in a little over a month.
On those rides there's a sidewinder then a boomerang style inversion (or maybe vise-versa) then it goes up high for some hoop de dos. That particular version operates without the dead-stop trim (like on FOF) which may have been a disadvantage here. If the launch wasn't enough to keep it at speed but just enough to make the loops then I'm not surprised if it stalled up there somewhere.
5 hours was it? Yikes. I saw on the news this morning they passed out umbrellas to keep the sun from beating down on them. When and if that ever happens to me it's a guarantee I should not have waited to pee, but taken the time to go before I got on.
Edit; the "as usual" was in response to Mr. Gator's question.Last edited by RCMAC, Monday, August 11, 2014 9:12 PM
I think that layout has three spots where it could potentially hang up. Kings Island has evacuation platforms at all three locations, but to the best of my knowledge they have never used them for that purpose.
Of course, it is a lot easier to aesthetically "get away with" putting platforms and staircases all over the ride when the ride is hidden in a steel building.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
I'd be interested to hear exactly what made it hang up to begin with. At SFWoA/GLP we had a coaster trains get stuck in the middle of nowhere for: too heavy/thick bearing grease, shoddy workmanship on a track rehab, delaminated track, snow, cold, a flume blowout, a not-so-smart reprogram of a PLC, a lazy hydraulic pump, a purse getting dropped and sucked under a wheel on a downhill, and a stuffed-animal cheeseburger doing the same. Kinda miss it sometimes!
I like how in the video, a SF rep says something to the effects of "The ride has numerous safety systems in place and behaved exactly as it was supposed to."
This strikes me as completely false. If it had stalled on the midcourse, yes. But to stall out in the middle of the track indicates something wrong to me. Could be any of the reasons SFWoa described above, or something else, but certainly not "as it's supposed to."
But I suppose I could be wrong.
Considering they couldn't launch another train, yes, I'd say the safety system was working as designed.
Well that much is obvious. But acting like the train was designed to stop where it did if something went wrong? Get real.
(about the 1:30 mark in the video)
Consider the possibility (complete hypothetical I just concocted) that something (bird?) tripped a sensor somewhere on the track while the train is 3/4 of the way down the launch track. Immediate E-stop means train potentially valleys in a less than ideal spot on the track...yet the safety system worked "as it was supposed to."
The ride has a sophisticated, computerized safety system that can cause such ride stoppages. While we are not yet sure what caused the stoppage, the ride performed as it is designed to do.
I take the statement to mean, "**** went down and nothing really came of it. Everyone was perfectly safe. Trains didn't launch into each other. Nothing burst into flames. A train didn't come crashing to the the ground. No one plummeted 75 feet."
I don't think that statement implies that the train should have stopped there, but rather when it did, nothing serious came of it.
Consider the possibility (complete hypothetical I just concocted) that something (bird?) tripped a sensor somewhere...
Dammit. I keep telling Bryan he needs to stay away from those sensors...
^Bryan is a pretty clever wordsmith....tripping up censors all the time... ;~P
Funny that this happens a couple days after I rode KI's FoF and got stopped on the launch track because the sensors determined that the train didn't have enough speed to make it through the cobra roll. The brakes kicked in and the maintenance lights turned on before some ride ops came and told us that this is a common occurrence. It was cool because one of them pointed out pieces of King Cobra track hidden inside of the building. Eventually, they pushed us back into the station, tested each train once, and allowed us to ride. It was uneventful, but as it was already pointed out, that MCBR comes close to a complete stop.
Except Joker's Jinx, so far as I know, having been designed for two trains instead of four, doesn't have a mid-course brake.
I think those rides are designed with a hard enough emergency brake at the downtrack end of the launch that if the launch isn't fast enough, the brake will insure that the train is slow enough that it won't complete the first inversion. Kind of like the brakes on the Vekoma Boomerang that are designed to keep the train from hanging up in the 'saddle'. Doesn't always prevent it from happening, but makes it far less likely.
My best guess...and it is only a guess...is that Something Bad happened that robbed the train of its energy, not a failed launch. Possibly a seized or 'blown' wheel or something like that.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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