No idea how long it would take. But I did get to see a couple of the sections of the Cedar Point ride when it was under construction. There is a ladder in the middle of the tower, and it looked like there are landings at the section breaks, with hatchways in the landing at each ladder.
There is also a ladder going up the outside of the tower, with no landings (also no railings, just a slot for the ascender device), but I am guessing that is the one they don't want to have to climb...
As for the issues of evacuation...
First, note that the scenarios I was describing are nightmare scenarios that could be detected which might not represent real breakdowns, but could explain hardware feedback caused by other problems. Remember, the controls operate by comparing the instructions sent to the hardware to the information returned by the feedback system. If the two systems don't match, the standard response is to do what the control system knows to be safe...which most of the time, is to stop.
The thing to keep in mind is that ANY position on the tower is a "safe" position for the gondola most of the time. So far, none of the gondola stranding incidents has taken place in a situation where there was any critical need to get people off of the ride. *We do not know* if there is a way to override the system and bring the gondola down "RFN". I think I noted previously that such an option may exist, but when the condition of the ride is not known, the more prudent course of action is to not put the thing into motion unless you know you can do so safely. If conditions change such that the risk of leaving the people up in the air is greater than the risk of bringing the gondola down, then there may be a way to bring the gondola down. We don't know this because that scenario hasn't happened in any of the incidents.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
/X\ _ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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