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Windseeker ride malfunction strands Knott's visitors

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I doubt the "Space Spiral Treatment" could work universally. Take Kings Island's WindSeeker for instance. There is a 6 times inverting roller coaster, a 40 year old double classic, forest, a theater of action, and a whole lotta bricks. All in the vicinity of WindSeeker. Not all parks have unused space to plop a steel rod.

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I doubt the "Space Spiral Treatment" could work universally. Take Kings Island's WindSeeker for instance. There is a 6 times inverting roller coaster, a 40 year old double classic, forest, a theater of action, and a whole lotta bricks. All in the vicinity of WindSeeker. Not all parks have unused space to plop a steel rod.

I wasn't being serious :P

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I don't find the broken lights under the seats to be a safety issue. I can't wait to see what Rideman has to say over on Pbuzz/Coasterbuzz.

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I don't find the broken lights under the seats to be a safety issue.

I believe these are the indicator LEDs to confirm the lapbar has locked, not simply part of the light package.

At Cedar Point last May, Ohio inspectors found missing bolts that required installation, a loose nut that needed tightening and lap bar lights that required repair.

In August in California, inspectors found a "lack of compliance" with technical standards and "lack of due diligence" by Cedar Fair, the parent company .

Inspection records show it required 17 separate inspections over 11 days to bring the California ride up to safety standards. Inspectors noted that "was an exceptional amount of time."

Quite troubling.

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They gave them free, "I survived WindSeeker" shirts.

On the back: "It's NOT like Drop Zone!"

;)

I don't find the broken lights under the seats to be a safety issue.

It's not.

Each seat is still physically checked by a ride op no matter if the light is on or not.

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I don't find the broken lights under the seats to be a safety issue.

It's not.

Each seat is still physically checked by a ride op no matter if the light is on or not.

If one of the two redundant systems for verifying that seats are locked is malfunctioning, that could be a safety issue. They're redundant for a reason, and that's not the only safety problem.

The WindSeekers are now hurting the safety reputation of the entire chain, as fair or unfair as that may be. No ride is ever worth that, so it will be interesting to see what happens. $33M (1.5 Sons of Beast) is a lot to sink into a project for these results.

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I don't find the broken lights under the seats to be a safety issue.

It's not.

Each seat is still physically checked by a ride op no matter if the light is on or not.

If one of the two redundant systems for verifying that seats are locked is malfunctioning, that could be a safety issue. They're redundant for a reason, and that's not the only safety problem.

The light malfunctioning is not a safety issue.

The safety redundancy is if the restraint system is signaling a locked position to the control board and also verified locked by a ride op.

There are too many variables that turn an indicator light on or off for it to be an accurate safety check. The light is more aesthetic than for safety.

This kinda makes me think about other rides at the parks. Are they being maintained properly?

Don't read into the news article too much. It is the media and drama sells.

While the WS incidents are serious concerns & need to be modified to ensure the guests reach the ground in a reasonable amount of time, there were no injuries due to the safety procedures in place.

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They must be working on WindSeeker at KI or looking at it, as on the webcam on visitkingsisland.com the gondola is at the top of the tower.

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I don't find the broken lights under the seats to be a safety issue.

I believe these are the indicator LEDs to confirm the lapbar has locked, not simply part of the light package.

At Cedar Point last May, Ohio inspectors found missing bolts that required installation, a loose nut that needed tightening and lap bar lights that required repair.

In August in California, inspectors found a "lack of compliance" with technical standards and "lack of due diligence" by Cedar Fair, the parent company .

Inspection records show it required 17 separate inspections over 11 days to bring the California ride up to safety standards. Inspectors noted that "was an exceptional amount of time."

Quite troubling.

That is quite troubling.

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This sounds like a widespread case of Son of Beast. This is certainly not good for the Cedar Fair chain as far as publicity goes. When this ride model is in almost all parks, this is very questionable from a park maintenance standpoint and the public's reactions. I am not sure we will see WindSeekers lasting very long, so long as the problems remain.

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Im not bashing Cedar Fair in anyway, I love them. But, it is sort of sad to see that wide spread publicity is what it takes to make sure that safety is top priority.

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This sounds like a widespread case of Son of Beast. This is certainly not good for the Cedar Fair chain as far as publicity goes. When this ride model is in almost all parks, this is very questionable from a park maintenance standpoint and the public's reactions. I am not sure we will see WindSeekers lasting very long, so long as the problems remain.

This, I would say, is very different from Son of Beast. Son of Beast encountered more than a few truly dangerous situations, physically hurting riders and allegedly causing chronic problems for some - this apart from the recorded time that an entire train's worth of riders went to the hospital thanks to a piece of the ride's structure literally failing... That could've been catastrophic. For some people on that train, it might've been. The ride was uncomfortable, unpleasant, unsatisfactory, and in the eyes of many, unsafe.

WindSeeker's problem is different. Faced with a misfiring sensor or whatever it is that caused the issues, it did exactly what it was supposed to do. Systems engaged and maintenance followed the prescribed process for getting riders off safely. The problem, though, is that that process - even when enacted appropriately, apparently - took a heck of a long time. Too long. Unforgivably long. That, according to the articles posted here, is the normal, standard procedure for that ride, and maintenance crews followed the instructions given to them. So in WindSeeker's case, everything post-breakdown went "right" in the eyes of the manufacturer, but felt "wrong" in the eyes of the public.

I'm sure that Mondial and Cedar Fair are trying to resolve the issue and implement a better system. I can't imagine you'd see six towers scrapped over this. The public was wary of WindSeeker after multi-month delays, then marginally confused when it turned out to be less of a "thrill" ride than advertised, but I hardly think people will now avoid it like the plague. People rode Son of Beast before and after each of its highly-publicized incidents, after all...

EDIT: And to step back and look at Cedar Fair now... Once so invested in tried-and-true technologies, things have changed. Up North, it brought it on itself. At Kings Island, it inherited a sticky situation or two, and then brought on a new issue.

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I was speaking from a publicity standpoint. So many people didn't ride Drop Tower after the KK accident because they thought someone lost their legs on DT rather than Superman. Couldn't you also argue that the popularity of Son of Beast rapidly declined after the 2006 accident? I also believe that in the published article posted by Leland Wykoff it says the brakes malfunctioned. That doesn't sound like it will go over well with the public.

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The Orange County Register has an updated WindSeeker story:

http://www.ocregiste...ide-safety.html

I smell lawsuit, by the fact the parent is saying "their NEGLIGENCE".

As I see it, CF is shutting down the rides to inspect and review them to ensure that no one else gets stuck. Just like it has done in the past when a ride has malfunctioned that is in several parks (CF or other and a problem has been found). Didn't this happen to several companies versions of Drop Zone when a cable was able to break and almost amputated a kids foot or something...

All of that manufacturers versions of Drop Zone were shut down for inspection and repairs if needed to the cable for safety purposes...

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I was speaking from a publicity standpoint. So many people didn't ride Drop Tower after the KK accident because they thought someone lost their legs on DT rather than Superman. Couldn't you also argue that the popularity of Son of Beast rapidly declined after the 2006 accident? I also believe that in the published article posted by Leland Wykoff it says the brakes malfunctioned. That doesn't sound like it will go over well with the public.

The brake malfuctioned in that it locked and they had to release it so they could lower the ride down. It didn't fail as in not stop the ride. It stopped the ride, and then wouldn't release.

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And you expect the public to make such fine distinctions?

All they will remember is something about four hours, a swing ride and brakes. I bet some will even think it happened on SkyScreamer at their local Six Flags.

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The bigger problem isn't what's causing these rides to malfunction, but rather how the guests are to be evacuated and how long that takes. California has ordered this question be answered and answered reasonably. It is totally unacceptable that the planned method of evacuation takes hours, not minutes.

I cannot see these rides opening ever again unless and until that problem is solved.

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I agree. It's just like the movie The Towering Inferno - They never thought about a rescue from the upper floors.

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I just don't get why a second motor wasn't installed for emergencies. One that could only lower the gondola, rather than hand cranking it. I believe the software needs reviewed and possibly tweaked on and also the evacuation timing.

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I agree. It's just like the movie The Towering Inferno - They never thought about a rescue from the upper floors.

I wonder how many here even know what "Towering Inferno" is. :)

It's not that they cannot be "rescued", but that they cannot be rescued in a reasonable amount of time.

That begs the question, what is a reasonable amount of time? I personally believe 1 hour is a good watermark. Anything over is way too long.

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If I remember correctly, the Knott's Rides Closed list said WindSeeker would be closed through October 20th too.

It might just be that they are leaving it in the list of closed rides, and that February will show the next rounds of down rides.

Edit to add:

http://web-beta.archive.org/web/20121011230108/http://www.knotts.com/things-to-do/thrill-rides

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If I remember correctly, the Knott's Rides Closed list said WindSeeker would be closed through October 20th too.

It might just be that they are leaving it in the list of closed rides, and that February will show the next rounds of down rides.

Edit to add:

http://web-beta.archive.org/web/20121011230108/http://www.knotts.com/things-to-do/thrill-rides

What about the rest of the WindSeekers that Cedar Fair owns? Will they be on the down ride roster for each park during the start of the season?

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Due to a year-round operating schedule, KBF lets people know when a ride is out for the routine maintenance that would have been done in the off season.

Other CF parks don't have a list shown on the website.

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