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Another Intamin Drop Tower incident


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Over at coasterbuzz, Dave Althoff may have an explanation about the cable problems. As many of you may know, Dave knows his stuff.

Here's what he had to say about the situation. This stems from a conversation he had with a former controls guy for Paramount, for an aerial tramway manufacturer, and for Arrow Dynamics. He was also very familiar with Intamin.

Anyway, if we go back to the findings from the KDA report on the Kentucky Kingdom mishap, the major issue there was that the rope was lacking in lubrication, which was probably part of the reason it deteriorated quickly to the point of failure. What Kevin notes is that there was apparently a mechanical problem with the ride (rope slippage) that Intamin did not adequately address, which probably resulted in the maltreatment of the ride components which led to their ultimate failure.

It would be interesting to find out if Port Aventura was also having cable slippage problems and addressed them in a similar fashion...by removing the lubrication from the hoist ropes.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Well as horrible as this could have been, the fact that this has happened again bodes well for Six Flags.

From one angle, I agree, as long as the ride is indentical to the former S;ToP.

But from the other; since the accident in Spain did not end tragically, quite possibly due to the ride operator hitting the E-Stop button, that could be against SF and their training procedures.

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Well as horrible as this could have been, the fact that this has happened again bodes well for Six Flags.

From one angle, I agree, as long as the ride is indentical to the former S;ToP.

But from the other; since the accident in Spain did not end tragically, quite possibly due to the ride operator hitting the E-Stop button, that could be against SF and their training procedures.

Yes, but the fact that there was another incident will give SF's arguing points that there may be some inherent issues with the design and operation of the ride.

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If my sight is correct this Drop Tower is a stand up, couldn't this accident have taken a whole leg if the ES wasn't pressed it could have been much worse then the SPTOP accident.

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i noticed Six Flags KK removed the old hellavator this year. Probably a good call.

Anyway I went on Drop Tower during my last visit to KI and I was scared to death because of the KK incident. This is the last straw for me, I don't think I'm going to get on one ever again. Intamin Drop Towers are proving just to be too unreliable!

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^ Hey if you feel that way, nobody is going to change your mind.

But somethings to keep in mind:

Both Intamin drop ride incidents were on rides that were engineered and designed before Drop Tower and are very different from KI's version.

The SFKK incident was caused from poor preventive maintenance and not from a design failure of the ride itself. If the cables would have been replaced in a timely manner we would not be talking about this at all.

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^ You are absolutely correct that is what has been mentioned about the lubrication.

But, if the cable was frayed due to lack of lubrication, it should have been noticed that replacement was necessary. Or if the cable has not been replaced in quite some time (i.e. MF elevator lift), or if the incorrect cable and/ or supplier was not used, any amount of lubrication still may not have prevented the accident.

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Is there any requirement on replacing these cables after a certain period of time? I know on mobile rock walls they cables have to be changed once a year, regardless of their condition. They instituted the rule after some cables snapped from metal fatigue where the rope attached to the coupling.

I know lack of lubrication was a contributing factor at SFKK but mandating a replacement interval accounts for miss use and neglect. It screws the places that stay on top of maintenance, but so many places don't it might be justified.

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