From the article it sounds like the mechanism that keeps the seat engaged in the flying position failed, and some sort of other built-in safety feature stopped the ride on the tracks before it entered the loop. 7 employees sent to the hospital, treated and released.
So I guess that's what happens when one of these fails, although I'm not sure I understand what causes the ride to stop on the tracks when the mechanism becomes disengaged. Perhaps someone else could offer some insight? Either way, the ride will likely not open for opening weekend this weekend...
It's probably a safety lock-out or some sort. My guess would be this: If the G's going through a loop are say, 4 for a given loop in the laying down position. The same loop, in a seated position may cause a greating amount of G's on a differant part of the body, causing problems. When the ride malfunctions, it stops to prevent this.
I would guess that on the train there are some sort of brakes that deploy if the seats are not in the lay down position or the lock fails. I have no proof of this but it just seems logical. *** Edited 3/19/2007 5:06:59 PM UTC by dragonoffrost***
There has to be some sort of brake on the train itself that can stop it anywhere on the course. (Unless the bottom of the loop has a brake run.) I never knew coaster trains had brakes on them - learn something new every day!
AFIK the vekoma flyers don't have any track mounted brakes aside from the final block brake so there'd be no way to halt the train after it has gone over the lift wether the GAU is locked or not.
I wonder if this will have any effect on Batwing's operational status this year? it could be a serious flaw in either the vehicle design or in maintenance which needs to be corrected before anybody gets injured.
It says a safety featured caused the train to "roll-back" to a stop. I'm very curious to know what this "safety feature" is. I had always assumed that if the lay-down locking mechanism failed, the trains would valley because the change in arrow dynamics and wind resistance would automatically slow it down too much to complete the circuit. With no mid-course brake, I can't imagine what feature could be on the ride in order to stop it from attempting to complete the course as usual.
They may be slower and less-intense but, at least this is one thing the B&M flyers don't have to worry about.
I've always had a love/hate relationship with BORG. On one hand, it's a fun ride. The loop is awesome and I love the Vekoma riding position way more than the Beemer hanging position. That said, I always took issue with putting a Vekoma POS front and center in the park and now look, it'll probably be a paperweight right front and center of the park for the next couple weeks.