But it seems like if there were something that stuck out on the train and into the track, it'd damage the track pretty significantly, because as far as I can tell the track wasn't designed for that sort of thing. I can't imagine what kind of brake could be on the train to slow it down, unless it's like RollerCoastin said and the change in momentum caused the train to valley. Of course, if that's the case, seems like people would have been hurt worse, but I dunno.
Think about this. The Vekoma models retract the upper torso as opposed to B&M retracting the lower. If the mechanism let go and you are in the flying position, it would be like hanging by your feet. (Shiver...not good)
The trains on Colossos (Heide Park) have an axle-brake which is used to control the speed if it should get too high. I don´t know if the other Intamin woodies have the same device. But those brakes can´t stop the train, nor reduce the speed beyond a certain point.
Maybe Vekpma added the possibility to block the wheels in case of a seat malfunction? I don´t think this is very likely, but who would have thought that the seat locking device would/could fail.
This shines a new light on the "failsafe" brakes on the Tilt/Thrill lift.
I'm thinking there's a braking mechanism for the wheels/axles.
Almost like your car - when you want to stop, there aren't any brakes that jump up from the road and touch your car - you simply apply a brake that stops your wheels from turning as fast and you slow down.
Given that, in addition to the change in aerodynamics, and it's possible it would roll back and valley at the bottom of the loop.
Someone mentioned above that this may very well effect Batwing's opening this season which brings up a question. Does anybody here think it could delay the Firehawk opening as well since it's a Batwing clone? I know KI has many attractions but for SOB to be closed for what I'm going to estimate most of the yr it would be pretty bad for the new coaster to open very late as well.
^ I was just going to bring that up. The newer Dutchmen have on-board hydraulic systems that allow the trains to roll in the upright position. The original design called for the seat recline to take place on the lift (a very cool experience the one time it happened to me on X-Flight). I'm not too familiar with the Stealth/Borg trains, but I could envision a system that grips the rails when the seats are upright more practical than something that stops the wheels.
Needless to say, I don't see a Dutchman running anytime soon.
Firehawk's trains are currently in an extensive refurbishment period in KI's maintenance shop, being completely rewired, all the seat and restraint padding released, and cleaning them up. I expect the tilting mechanisms will be getting an extremely fine-toothed comb inspection on them soon.
Something tells me Borg is going to end up with both trains completely taken apart and rebuilt again before it starts up again.
That's what I was afraid of I was really looking forward to trying Firehawk at the end of June. Does anyone think the trains being different will account for much? Last season all the premier coasters were closed except the FOF's because from what I heard they were made differently and didn't contain the same problem. I'm also not sure if Speed ever closed.
The restraint didn't fail - the seat tilt mechanism did. From the reports at least, no one was in danger of falling out of the ride. You'd just be in a different position which could probably be rough or painful, but definitely not going to kill you.
The trains on Firehawk worked fine at Geauga Lake, so I assume they will work fine at King's Island. There shouldn't be any delay due to pulling the entire train apart, though. It happens every offseason for inspections, anyway.
Problem is, there is no connection between the control panel and the trains on the course. There is no onboard computer on Borg's trains, and no wireless connection or onboard hydraulic system. I don't see how that could even have happened.
I can't see a button on the control panel of the ride doing this like pkidelirium said. However, if the employees were maintenance staff, they could've had something ON the train that could release the seats? I'm not sure why you would EVER want to do that, but that's the only way I see that news story as being credible. I guess the "news" story could be completely bogus too. Most news stories on coasters are wrong anyways. LOL!!