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Icon Park - Drop Tower Accident 24/03/2022

ChristianPalsson

Hyper Poster
Crikey… Way to open a can of worms…

What exactly is a ‘ride standard body shape?’

Since bodies come in all shapes and sizes, which shape should they go with?

Perhaps in this case it would have been better to design the ride purely for larger guests, since 69% of US adults are over weight*. I mean, if they go down that route surely they will go with the majority? Better hope you’re on the larger side huh?

*source: https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity-facts

The ride must have been designed after a certain body type. That's what decided the size of the restraints, seat and everything. The designers/engineers must have based it on some kind of measurements and shapes. What those are I have no idea. Show those to the rides ops and only allow guests that conform to those to be able to ride. It's just an idea, though I prefer seatbelts, that's easier.
 

rob666

Hyper Poster
It shouldn't need to come down to that tbf. If the restraint is locked in and the ride is able to dispatch I think it's fair for the ride staff to assume its good to go.

Just a tragic design flaw it seems.
Not "just" a tragic design flaw, and incompetently designed feature that led to an innocent child's death.
Not tragic, just criminal.
 

Nemisis

Roller Poster
I am not sure we can buy the argument that rides should be designed for overweight people. By doing that it makes them inherently unsafe for smaller (arguably correctly sized) people. Case in point my kids get moved out of the "big boy" seats on Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach because while tall enough for the ride, those seats are too "free". I am 6'2 and broadly built and even I move about too much in them!

All for inclusivity, offering alternative seats designed for larger folk but when we start talking about gearing ride design in general to favour larger people over those that are making good life choices feels very off to me.

The above is not in the context of this tragic accident but in response to the general chat.

On the topic of feeling bad about being curious about how this happened. Don't feel bad, it's human. It's only natural for us to want to feel comfortable that what happened wouldn't happen to us.
 

Will

Strata Poster
Some UK outlets have even shared a none blurred image of him in the chair before the ride with headlines along the lines of 'seatbelt not fastened.' Despite the fact that the ride doesn't have seatbelts!
Brilliant. Good to hear they've still not tired of sensationalism over fact when it comes to reporting on the industry.

...and well done to all the clowns who've given the ride a one star review on google over the last day or so. They must be very proud.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
The ride must have been designed after a certain body type. That's what decided the size of the restraints, seat and everything. The designers/engineers must have based it on some kind of measurements and shapes. What those are I have no idea. Show those to the rides ops and only allow guests that conform to those to be able to ride. It's just an idea, though I prefer seatbelts, that's easier.
Manufacturers set the parameters. They decide what the minimum and maximum height is, and design the restraint to hold up to a certain circumference within those height parameters.

The ride should therefore be designed so that if the restraint indicates a locked status, and you’re within those height parameters, then you are safe in the ride regardless of your shape. If the restraint indicates that it’s locked, you’re within the height limits and yet you’re still not safe, then that is a design flaw.

Expecting staff, often young staff, to consider shape, circumference, and the size of a rider’s rear end would introduce far too much room for human error.

I am not sure we can buy the argument that rides should be designed for overweight people. By doing that it makes them inherently unsafe for smaller (arguably correctly sized) people. Case in point my kids get moved out of the "big boy" seats on Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach because while tall enough for the ride, those seats are too "free". I am 6'2 and broadly built and even I move about too much in them!

All for inclusivity, offering alternative seats designed for larger folk but when we start talking about gearing ride design in general to favour larger people over those that are making good life choices feels very off to me.

The above is not in the context of this tragic accident but in response to the general chat.

On the topic of feeling bad about being curious about how this happened. Don't feel bad, it's human. It's only natural for us to want to feel comfortable that what happened wouldn't happen to us.

Nobody is suggesting that happens. Rather that manufacturer's have to design the ride for all shapes and sizes within a range of heights.

My point was that if ride manufacturers have to start narrowing down the size of people that can ride, which do you think parks would want them to go for, healthy sized people who make up less than a third of the US population, and start limiting their customer base and thus profits, or overweight people who make up more than two thirds?

Obviously this was a hypothetical question, as it shouldn’t be needed. Most manufacturers manage to design a restraint that can safely hold anyone who can physically fit inside a restraint that indicates it is locked. See my reply above.
 

Nemisis

Roller Poster
Nobody is suggesting that happens. Rather that manufacturer's have to design the ride for all shapes and sizes within a range of heights.

My point was that if ride manufacturers have to start narrowing down the size of people that can ride, which do you think parks would want them to go for, healthy sized people who make up less than a third of the US population, and start limiting their customer base and thus profits, or overweight people who make up more the two thirds?

Apologies I should have been clearer. Unfortunately from a pure engineering and physics point of view you need to pick a target size and height range. The more you push the upper end of that, the more you push up the lower end. There are practical limits to how much you can do that before you start excluding healthy sized teens. Vest type restraints as one solution to trying to increase that range as much as possible.

I can't say what parks and manufactures will do in terms of pushing that range to target the cash. It would be a fascinating PR problem that is for sure.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Apologies I should have been clearer. Unfortunately from a pure engineering and physics point of view you need to pick a target size and height range. The more you push the upper end of that, the more you push up the lower end. There are practical limits to how much you can do that before you start excluding healthy sized teens. Vest type restraints as one solution to trying to increase that range as much as possible.

I can't say what parks and manufactures will do in terms of pushing that range to target the cash. It would be a fascinating PR problem that is for sure.
Most manufacturers have found the perfect balance. I am a large lad (tall and fat) and I’ve never been turned away from a ride, or felt unsafe.

Hypothetically speaking here, if a rider is within height limitations, their restraint indicates it’s locked, and yet that rider is ejected, then that is a shocking design flaw, and totally avoidable in this day and age with long existing engineering knowledge and practices.
 

Nemisis

Roller Poster
Most manufacturers have found the perfect balance. I am a large lad (tall and fat) and I’ve never been turned away from a ride, or felt unsafe.

Hypothetically speaking here, if a rider is within height limitations, their restraint indicates it’s locked, and yet that rider is ejected, then that is a shocking design flaw, and totally avoidable in this day and age with long existing engineering knowledge and practices.
Completely agree. In my mind I was taking exclusively about major manufacturers which as you point out have this covered quite well. Especially the more modern designs. There are limits though and we do see people turned away regularly. I agree that there is no reason that all rides built these days should be able to achieve that standard. Older rides you can understand because they were designed in a different world.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
It is horrid to think about, but it seems like an accident inevitably waiting to happen allowing / designing the ride to operate with a harness that loose together with the tilting of the ride vehicles. During the tilting, the body weight will get shifted off the seat forwards, towards the gap and the forces on the lower (ajar) part of the restraint would be enormous if all weight is then focused on that area rather than being spread out across the restraint.

Purely speculative but I guess the height and larger upper body size of the deceased meant that the restraint couldn’t comfortably be lowered towards a safe position.

Whatever the exact reason (manufacturing, design, human error or all of the above), the end result is shockingly negligent
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Completely agree. In my mind I was taking exclusively about major manufacturers which as you point out have this covered quite well. Especially the more modern designs. There are limits though and we do see people turned away regularly. I agree that there is no reason that all rides built these days should be able to achieve that standard. Older rides you can understand because they were designed in a different world.
Exactly, today’s rides are designed to indicate when a rider is too large and thus the rider does the walk of shame. Usually this is done by an indication light showing that the restraint isn’t down far enough.

Most manufacturers manage to design this perfectly so that it catches any size / shape anomalies. Myself for example, despite being clearly overweight, it’s actually my height and large shoulders that cause me issues, not my stomach or butt. When they have to secure the restraints for me it’s my shoulders that cause the resistance, and my shoulders the feel the pressure when they get it locked. If I was to have slightly bigger shoulders I’d be in trouble. Whereas if I was to put a bit more weight on purely around my stomach I’d be ok.
 
Crikey… Way to open a can of worms…

What exactly is a ‘ride standard body shape?’

Since bodies come in all shapes and sizes, which shape should they go with?

Perhaps in this case it would have been better to design the ride purely for larger guests, since 69% of US adults are over weight*. I mean, if they go down that route surely they will go with the majority? Better hope you’re on the larger side huh?

*source: https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity-facts

I kind of get what he's saying although I think it was maybe worded improperly. Sometimes people who aren't necessarily obese, for example, have huge thighs that could still prevent a restraint from closing properly even though they might not look like the standard definitely of "obese" or "fat". I've seen a few instances of people being denied a ride on something that shocked me but their proportions made it unsafe. It would be hard to make a "standard body shape" though, as it would exclude a lot of people from riding. I don't think the OP meant to be offensive, and to be fair I think that would be incredibly hard to implement anyway but I get the train of thought.

Incredibly sad accident, and what I found further upsetting after watching the video (which was before the news decided to edit them... Incredibly scummy to even post that given how traumatic that would be for many people including friends and family to watch if stumbled upon accidentally or with the thought that it was just a normal news video) was the way nobody really came to assist. The one man went over, but nobody else exiting the ride or even the operators did anything to help. There didn't even seem to be any sort of panic or worry on their part. I know if I were there I'd never be able to just run away (and I know it's different when you're in that situation but I've been in very similar situations and never just left).

Very tragic, and definitely a life cut too short. I'm glad the ride is shut, I'm glad Dollywood closed theirs, and it probably speaks to some training deficits if the staff let somebody of that size onto the ride.
 

MakoMania

Mega Poster
Since these towers use Gerstlauer restraints similar/identical to those on some Gerstlauer coasters, should we not now be looking with caution at those coasters just as Dollywood has with their tower?
 

Indy

Mega Poster
Since these towers use Gerstlauer restraints similar/identical to those on some Gerstlauer coasters, should we not now be looking with caution at those coasters just as Dollywood has with their tower?
No, for a few reasons.

1. The restraints are technically different. They may look similar, but they have been independently designed and feature differences.
2. It’s a different ride application. The ride experience on a drop tower is vastly different than a roller coaster, Sky Roller, or SkyFly.
3. The seat design plays a huge part in rider containment. Identical restraints on different seat designs creates totally different containment systems. Gerstlauer’s seat design will also be independently designed and completely different from Funtime.
4. Arguably, the biggest reason is because one of the main factors will be the minimum close position. That is determined by the manufacturer and the controls company that the manufacturer uses.

Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to close any Gerstlauer rides with OTSRs.
 

ChristianPalsson

Hyper Poster
FOyOK3kWYAMGriH.jpg

Both parents have hired lawyers. The mother's lawyer stated that Tyre "slipped out of his unsecured harness and fell". That might mean that the restraint didn't mechanically "open" more than it already was.
 
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Thekingin64

Strata Poster

Statement from the park.

1. Didn't realise Icon don't seem to actually own the rides, they just lease the land to the ride owners.
2. Icon trying to pass off the blame to the actual ride owners.

Obviously this is a very bad situation for the park and no-one will have wanted this, but with this and that they've apparently already reopened, management could have handled this a lot better. 2 deaths in 2 years for a park that's only been open 2 years is not a good look.
 

rob666

Hyper Poster
I am not sure we can buy the argument that rides should be designed for overweight people. By doing that it makes them inherently unsafe for smaller (arguably correctly sized) people. Case in point my kids get moved out of the "big boy" seats on Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach because while tall enough for the ride, those seats are too "free". I am 6'2 and broadly built and even I move about too much in them!

All for inclusivity, offering alternative seats designed for larger folk but when we start talking about gearing ride design in general to favour larger people over those that are making good life choices feels very off to me.

The above is not in the context of this tragic accident but in response to the general chat.

On the topic of feeling bad about being curious about how this happened. Don't feel bad, it's human. It's only natural for us to want to feel comfortable that what happened wouldn't happen to us.
Your first sentence...it reads that fat people deserve to die!
Proper design is all that is required...if the seats tilt forward a considerable amount, perhaps seatbelts should always be fitted to make sure people of all sizes are safe on a "fun" ride.
Moving about in a seat is one thing, falling out is another.
And Icon had seatbelts retrofitted to make people feel safer, nobody fell out.
 

Nemisis

Roller Poster
Your first sentence...it reads that fat people deserve to die!
Nope, pure strawman at play (misrepresenting my point). That is your spin on it.

I was responding to the point that because such a large percentage of the US is obese rides should be designed around that. What I think got lost in text was that the original point meant just generally as most major attractions are. What I was saying though was that from an engineering point of view the larger the size of person you have to design to accommodate the larger the minimum size has to increase. It's a range. At a point you stop healthy sized people being able to ride safely. Rides can only accommodate up to a given size? Yes. People should die? Get out of town. Not cool at all to misrepresent what people actually said like that. Pure fiction.
 

rob666

Hyper Poster
OK to make it clear...
Rides should be designed for overweight people.
Especially in a nation where two thirds of the population are overweight.
No fiction, your words.
 

Nemisis

Roller Poster
OK to make it clear...
Rides should be designed for overweight people.
Especially in a nation where two thirds of the population are overweight.
No fiction, your words.

I am not playing your games pal, find another target. No issue with rides being designed to accommodate a range of sizes. Again. The point being you can only go so large without having to push up the minimum size and that isn't right.
 

rob666

Hyper Poster
I'm neither playing games or looking for targets, this is an open forum with differing opinions, that is both accepted and encouraged.
I stand by what I said as fair comment.
Rides can be designed to suit all sizes, the technology is there.
Shockwave at Drayton as an example, I'm six foot four, my co worker was four foot ten, me large, her slim...we both enjoyed the standup together.
That ride was built in '94.
 
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