Six die in simulator accident in China

Posted | Contributed by Jerry

A space shuttle simulator ride plunged 50 feet to the ground at a popular Chinese amusement park, killing six people and injuring another 10. Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News quoted witnesses as saying one cabin came loose during a high-speed spin and struck other cabins. Some fell 50 feet, sending passengers tumbling.

Read more from MSNBC.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

RCMAC said:

Good point about Soarin', Jeffrey Seifert. Whenever I've been lucky enough to snag the highest row on that ride I've always felt a little uneasy - it seems awfully high up and precarious with nothing but concrete floor below me. So for the sake of "flying" and capacity they've turn what would be a standard simulator experience into one with a gimmick, one we don't see elsewhere - probably not unlike this unfortunate ride in China.

More for capacity, really. Face it, the bottom row doesn't go nearly that high and still 'simulates' the experience. There's no need to go that high except for the sake of putting more people on at one time.


Jeff's avatar

RideMan said:
...which may explain why it is necessary for it to rise some 40 feet to generate the effect the designer wanted.

Not really. The Simpsons rides go all of ten feet up from their original position, with a larger screen.


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Dave you might find this link interesting too:

http://itn.co.uk/672c98ebead568c9cbc6ecae5414cc7f.html (there's also a video)

It mentions that one of the survivors could see others hanging dead in their seats. That supports your theory that the cabins are open (like Soarin') and not enclosed like Mission Space.

I'm wondering if the screen (or screens) are something like the old Disney Circle Vision 360 theaters.

Tekwardo's avatar

...speed, acceleration, interaction with characters, special effects, as well as height without leaving the ground.

By that definition, any dark ride at IoA and Disney is a simulator. It may have simulated experiences, but the 2 rides I mentioned go beyond that. The ride moves on a track, it shakes around, spins, and there are actual sets with 3D screens in the midst of them, with real fire, smoke, etc. coming at you. That isn't simulating an experience, that's actually putting you in one.


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LostKause's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I wanna make a simulator that goes 50 miles per hour, but simulates the experience of going 60 miles per hour.

I believe that fits the description of Test Track at EPCOT.

Don't the Spiderman and Darkastle ride vehicles raise about 10 or 12 feet of of the ground? I'm pretty sure that that was stated on a TV program at one point. I should know, because I have worked at the Spiderman ride a few days of my life, but I don't.

China seems to me to be the worst place for ride fatalities. I suspect that their ride inspection policies are a big problem.


Jerry's avatar

Gonch... I'm sorry for desecrating your good name with Dave's signature line! Lo Siento Mucho!!! ;-)

Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
Don't the Spiderman and Darkastle ride vehicles raise about 10 or 12 feet of of the ground?

I don't think that's even possible.

Jerry said:
Gonch... I'm sorry for desecrating your good name with Dave's signature line! Lo Siento Mucho!!! ;-)

No. I'm often the one who is heartless about ride malfunctions stating that it's too often forgotten that these rides are huge pieces of machinery - and there are no guarantees in life.

Basically a less eloquent, cynical version of what Dave's message conveys. :)


I seem to remember a shot in one of those "behind the scene" specials that showed the entire rise and drop behind the vehicle, it did not leave the floor, just tilted.

What's ironic and tragic and not funny, but certainly nevertheless worth noting, is that now almost half as many people have perished in accidents involving a space shuttle simulator as have actually died on the real thing. :(


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LostKause's avatar

That's what I am talking about. The hydrolics lifted it above the part that was running along the track. I seem to remember the voice over guy stating that it could rise 12 feet off of the ground. And about that time is when they showed it, in a well-lit area (possibly where they were testing the ride system), tilting. They didn't show it raising up that far, but I assumed that since one side could raise up as far as it was raised, all sides could, essentially lifting it up off of ground level.

I could be wrong, or mistaken, or whatever. I only got to work entrance and put the 3-D glasses into the 3-D Glasses washing machine. I don't have any inside info about this. It wasn't my normal hang-out. lol


The Star Tours Disney simulators and the Disney EMV share the same basic idea to simulate movements. If I remember correctly, 6 hydraulic cylinders in a triangle configuration make the box/jeep do impressive things and having seen Star Tours do its thing with the lights on, the motion simulator lifts up a lot.

On Star Tours, the "hyperspace travel" is simulated by having the front of the sim go up and then when the ship "travel", the front almost freefall down as the sim is pulled backward. Its extremely impressed to see! To give you an idea of the space and range of movement, Star Tours require a 25-30 deep pit from when you board at its "base" position.


Jeff said:

RideMan said:
...which may explain why it is necessary for it to rise some 40 feet to generate the effect the designer wanted.

Not really. The Simpsons rides go all of ten feet up from their original position, with a larger screen.

Yeah but you walk up 40 feet first (for top row)

This maybe like the simpsons ride but the capsule rides a lift hill to put you in postion.

Jeff's avatar

So what? If I stand on a domed stadium, I'm not going to fall anywhere.


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Who can see anything on a screen when you're in a high-speed spin, anyway? Unless you're simulating flying though the stars sideways at lightspeed...

This sounds more like a really insane flat ride with a movie around it than a simulator. Very sad.

My thought was this you board a coaster car themed to space shuttle

Blast off is lift hill at the top is a transfer track looking piece that holds four cars when for 4 cars are up(slightly nose down) movie plays on a domed screen then each car rides the track down for reentry. If one of the cars not lined up with track breaks loose it could fall down like this story is describing.similar to a transfering train falling when being put on the track (except no one is on most coasters when this has happened)

Kevin38

I'm thinking that the idea is for the rotation to simulate +2Gz, and to do that the riders would be facing the center of the ride. Then mount the projector on the rotating armature, and the image will rotate in sync with the ride, meaning that the appearance of rotation would be eliminated.

That still doesn't explain why it goes 40' in the air, nor does it tell us whether there are 11 cars or 12. (Personally I think there were probably 12 but one was empty)

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Jason Hammond's avatar

Dave, this was a ride made in China right? I wouldn't put it past them to make a non-symmetrical ride. :)


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Lord Gonchar's avatar

RideMan said:
I'm thinking that the idea is for the rotation to simulate +2Gz, and to do that the riders would be facing the center of the ride. Then mount the projector on the rotating armature, and the image will rotate in sync with the ride, meaning that the appearance of rotation would be eliminated.

That's rather ingenious.


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