Jump to content

What Happened To Flight Commander?


Hank
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a very vivid memory of my first trip to Paramount’s King's Island as a kid; Riding The Vortex for the first time, layering napkins in my shoes to be tall enough to ride The Beast, my mom hurting her back on that very same ride.  I remember crying in fear for my parents while they rode the King Cobra.  But absolutely nothing compares to when my dad almost killed me on Flight Commander.  Considering the ride shut down in 1995 I couldn’t have been any older than nine years old max at the time I rode it.  I remember pleading to my dad in tears to not flip the cockpit again.  He thought it was funny and that I was just scared.  He flipped it once more and I know that time he actually could see/ feel me slipping out.  He reached over and help secure me as I slipped around the cockpit upside down.  We stayed upright for the duration of the ride.  I’m almost certain it would have been after the first Flight Commander fatality in 1992 however.  I knew it wasn’t safe, I said I didn’t feel safe, and I almost fell out of the Flight Commander ride.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember riding it. I only knew what it was because it was coming off of the incident. I think it was my first time going upside down on a ride. Once I figured out that I liked it, I talked my sister into riding with me. She would only ride if I promised not to make it go upside down. I took it as high as it would go and flipped it upside down. I jiggled the joystick back and forth so it would stay upside down and not just complete the barrel roll like it was intended to do. My sister screamed her head off.  I’m such a jerk. 

  • Haha 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flight Commander was definitely unique, but after a couple rides it was just- meh.  Think of it as an aggressive Wind Seeker.

Part of the queue line was under the ride platform and had a couple TVs, I do not recall if it they were for theming for the ride or just played music videos.  It was nice to get out of the sun for a few minutes.

There were painted Flight Commander symbols on the ground similar to Beast tracks/ Vortex track going to the queue line which added to the excitement when it first opened.

*I believe* there were modifications to the restraints following the accident.

The initial theory was the lady fell from the capsule after getting out of the restraints trying to get a better view of the emergency lights/ activity going on at the Beer Garden.  Alcohol played a factor into the Flight Commander accident.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/9/2006 at 2:02 AM, BoddaH1994 said:

Incorrect -- It went to Syndney Wonderland where it is SBNO... with the rest of the park.

 

On 11/9/2006 at 6:31 PM, The Interpreter said:

Right you are. It went to Playcenter in Brazil:

 

I realize that these posts are nearly 15 years old, I just want to comment on them in case any new readers stumble on this thread now that it's been resurrected... Flight Commander did not go to Wonderland Sydney nor Playcenter. All signs point to Flight Commander having been relocated to Flamingo Land in the United Kingdom. It operated there as Top Gun from 1996 through 2004.

00457402.jpg

And here's an interesting post on this site from 2003, from one of the ride's operators at Flamingo Land:

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll add my $.02

I rode both Flight Commander, and Sky Pilot (at Kings Dominion) several times each.  The ride - as others have said - was "meh."  It really wasn't that thrilling, but it was unique for its time.  The barrel rolls were its novelty, and they were slooooowww.  When KI (and KD) removed it, I didnt see it as a big loss.  In its later years, the ride was typically a walk-on.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

@Shaggy since it was not there long, do you mean season 2 and on as "later years."

Specifically I recall several trips in 1994 and 1995 when the ride was a walk-on.  I lived about 1 hour from KI then, had a season pass, and visited roughly every other week.  I don't ever recall waiting through the full queue for the ride in any of those trips.

Now, of course I didn't ride every time I went.  I thought the ride was lackluster - so it wasn't of great interest to me.  IMO that was the predominant feeling among most guests by that point.  I remember it being down on a few of those visits, but I don't recall taking note of it not operating for long periods of time.  (Although I could be wrong... again, it wasn't of great interest to me.) 

Frankly - I MUCH preferred Skylab - but that ride seemed to be down more than it was operational.  Skylab typically did have a line when I was there and it was running.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I can't think of any more Flight Commander rides still in use but I know that Gerstlauer has a ride pretty similar called Sky Fly, where you can change your ride experience by choosing when to go upside down. Any time someone mentions Sky Fly, I can only think of Flight Commander lol. 

https://www.gerstlauer-rides.de/products/flat-rides/sky-fly-en-US/

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Specifically I recall several trips in 1994 and 1995 when the ride was a walk-on.  I lived about 1 hour from KI then, had a season pass, and visited roughly every other week.  I don't ever recall waiting through the full queue for the ride in any of those trips.
Now, of course I didn't ride every time I went.  I thought the ride was lackluster - so it wasn't of great interest to me.  IMO that was the predominant feeling among most guests by that point.  I remember it being down on a few of those visits, but I don't recall taking note of it not operating for long periods of time.  (Although I could be wrong... again, it wasn't of great interest to me.) 
Frankly - I MUCH preferred Skylab - but that ride seemed to be down more than it was operational.  Skylab typically did have a line when I was there and it was running.

Was Skylab the tube ride? Like you were ina tube on a Ferris wheel?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/14/2021 at 11:51 AM, bwaymaura said:

I can't think of any more Flight Commander rides still in use but I know that Gerstlauer has a ride pretty similar called Sky Fly, where you can change your ride experience by choosing when to go upside down. Any time someone mentions Sky Fly, I can only think of Flight Commander lol. 

https://www.gerstlauer-rides.de/products/flat-rides/sky-fly-en-US/

 

If you think that's similar, you should take a look at the Gerstlauer Sky Roller...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...