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(Dallas News)   Six Flags at Half Staff Over Texas   (dallasnews.com) divider line 188
    More: Sad, Texas Giant, safety harnesses, Six Flags  
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14247 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jul 2013 at 12:08 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-20 12:56:38 AM  

Confabulat: gingerjet: Confabulat: and i'm really shocked that 16 year old minimum wage workers might not be the best people to trust with my life?

And I'm not shocked you have no clue how these things work.  That 16 year old is just another part of the operational aspect of the ride.  And they are interchangeable.  If something fails its not their fault - its the fault of the people who designed the operations around that ride.  If you ever noticed at Disney or Universal parks there is never one single person who gives the go ahead - there are multiple.

Yeah, multiple 16 year olds working for minimum wage bored and half-assed. I've spent a little time in theme parks.


while i'm well aware of the stereotype, i must say that the day we went to six flags a few months ago, those young folks operating the giant were neither bored nor aff-assed. they were having a lot of fun, but all were paying close attention to making sure the passengers were secure before all gave their hand-waving-thumbs-up to signify we were take-off ready
 
2013-07-20 12:56:45 AM  
A lot of wood coasters don't have a second restraint. Those that do usually just have a lap belt that won't do much if you've managed to break or slip out of the locking restraint.

That said, I don't remember Nitro (steel coaster) at Great Adventure having anything more than a primary restraint, but it comes in from the front rather than from the top (hip and thigh rather than just hip/belly), and they make sure it's VERY tight. The purpose is to hold your legs clamped down and let the rest of your body feel "free."

On this wooden coaster, I'm pretty sure the restraint is sandwiching your hips, and a very overweight person may easily slip out if their hips are actually a hanging belly, or if the belly is blocking the restraint from coming all the way down.
 
2013-07-20 01:00:36 AM  

drayno76: I rode this coaster on opening day.  I hated it then but the old man insisted it would be a historic event.  In other news, no one ever
gave a shat and I think that damn ride gave me a concussion from how much it shook and bounced.  When I rode it, the restraints were
the 'click' kind, I have no idea since they remodeled it.  I kind of quit riding coasters after working at one. Safety comes like 9th or 10th
on those things.  Cracked out carnies running them too.  No thanks.


Lt. Cheese Weasel: A very rough ride when it had wood rails. They went steel but nothing else. I rode it ONCE. On wood back in the day.  Never again.


i rode it back in 90 or 91 as an all-wood coaster and it was rough & jerky, but not too bad. magic springs in hot springs, arkansas, had (probably still have? haven't been in many years) a wooden coaster that was smaller than the giant, and THAT was one rough ride!

now the new hybrid wood-with-steel-tracks giant, imho, is an incredible ride! not rough at all like an all-wood! yet still not as smooth as a good steel rail
 
2013-07-20 01:04:08 AM  
A sad thing about this, among many, is that the kids that check them before the ride starts may very well be feeling responsible for the whole deal.  As has been said, there are multiple checks put in place, and to pin it on this one kid is a shiatty thing to do.  He or she will probably need some counseling.

Human nature has us wanting to blame / place negligence somewhere.  A few from this thread:
- The person riding (too fat!)
- the kid who was supposed to check to ensure the riders were secure (too young, he/she is to blame!)
- the engineers of the ride (you need to see a chiropractor afterwords, it is too rough a ride!)
- etc

Maybe some of these are valid, or more than likely, there are multiple failures in the system.  Another possibliity is that all precautions truly were taken and the damn thing just broke. (A gear slipped that wouldn't have been caught even on a deep inspection, for example).  Amusement park rides are risky, but it  usually controlled risk.  But you can't remove risk from it entirely; too many variables.  Or you can go the Wargames route: the only winning move is not to play.

Regardless, there is a kid that is going to have to get to sleep tonight after seeing her mother fall to her death.  That is the really shiatty thing. And we may never get a satisfactory explanation.  I hope we do, at least for that kids sake, though.
 
2013-07-20 01:04:29 AM  
There's actually an entire industry around inspecting amusement park rides for safety.  The insurance companies demand it.  Six Flags has insurance for this sort of thing.  I guarantee it.  I also guarantee that the ride has passed one inspection after another.

Will money be paid out?  Oh, yeah!  But nobody new is going to own Six Flags.
 
2013-07-20 01:08:00 AM  
If she had stayed the fark home this wouldn't have happened.
 
2013-07-20 01:08:15 AM  
What?
 
2013-07-20 01:11:27 AM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: HempHead: The last time I rode the Texas Giant I almost lost the fillings out of my teeth. I think a chiropractor should set up an office at the exit to offer back adjustments.

This, one rough biatch.  I rode it because my party shamed me into it. I hate coasters. I hate airplanes for the same reason. My life is suspect and in the hands of others who are either making 8 bucks an hour or alot more and haven't slept in the last 36 hours. I'll take the bus, you can have your zero G nonsense.


You'll be pleased to know they retracked it in 2011 and it went from one of the most terrible coasters in the country to the #5 steel roller coaster in the world.

Most of the reports (including TFA) are talking about "one click" on the bar (no belt, just a single lap bar), but it's a hydraulic restraint and doesn't actually "click" when it comes down. Semantics, I know, but still.
 
2013-07-20 01:12:54 AM  

Confabulat: jaytkay: Arlington residents gather to pay their final respects
[media-cache-ak1.pinimg.com image 550x343]

Ha, I could not remember why in the hell I knew what Arlington, Texas is. Rusty Shackleford is on the case!


Except King of the Hill takes place in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas. Arlington is home to a few landmarks like Cowboy Stadium and Rangers Ballpark, so it's not like it's some obscure hicktown you shouldn't know about.
 
2013-07-20 01:16:55 AM  

farkingismybusiness: "Brown said the victim's young son was riding with his mother."
[www.thehouseworkcanwait.com image 500x275]


Beautiful.
 
2013-07-20 01:18:27 AM  
Three days ago I was having a discussion about this very thing happening and we covered every single thing mentioned in this thread

1) Fabio
2) Not entrusting my life to a bunch of high school kids
3) People do fall out

They told me I was full of shiat, that no one ever falls out. I am sadly proven right just days later. I now know how Brody felt when he saw the kid playing on the escalator again.
 
2013-07-20 01:19:37 AM  

Seige101: You have to be 18 to operate the ride
All rides are inspected daily before the park opens and the public rides them
Maintenance does an inspection and then the ride operators do an inspection.


/getting a kick out of these comments


I'm getting a kick out of your over-confidence of amusment park maintenance personnel, ride operators, and the age of 18.
 
2013-07-20 01:21:58 AM  

mrswood: The comments in the actual article are terrible. You can't blame the stupid kid for this, he didn't design the coaster and is not responsible for maintenance.


The "stupid kid" was an employee responsible for ensuring people are properly secured, and when a problem was brought to his attention, he blew it off without checking.  Sure, there's plenty of blame for Six Flags for not properly training their employees and/or hiring untrustworthy (a.k.a. cheap) employees, and for having equipment that failed in the first place, but that doesn't excuse the employee's (lack of) action when attention was called to the problem.
 
2013-07-20 01:22:20 AM  

Neighborhood Watch: There's actually an entire industry around inspecting amusement park rides for safety.  The insurance companies demand it.  Six Flags has insurance for this sort of thing.  I guarantee it.  I also guarantee that the ride has passed one inspection after another.

Will money be paid out?  Oh, yeah!  But nobody new is going to own Six Flags.


The insurance company will pay for the results of a flawed inspection and an equipment failure.  It will also pay for an employee not correctly securing a rider.

If there is a jury trial, what is going to redline the punitive damages is the overheard 'Everything is fine' after the rider expressed concerned.  It doesn't matter whether it's been said a million times before and always been right.  That emotional bullet point is fatal.
 
2013-07-20 01:23:14 AM  
When I read this I thought of that scene in "The House on Haunted Hill" (remake) where the roller coaster ejects a car full of mannequins in front of the riders right before they go through that same curve for effect.  If anyone on the Six Flags coaster saw it happen I would imagine there were some people in desperate need of clean underwear after that ride.
 
2013-07-20 01:24:37 AM  
i1182.photobucket.com i1182.photobucket.com i1182.photobucket.com
She sounds fat.
 
2013-07-20 01:25:57 AM  

RyansPrivates: A sad thing about this, among many, is that the kids that check them before the ride starts may very well be feeling responsible for the whole deal.  As has been said, there are multiple checks put in place, and to pin it on this one kid is a shiatty thing to do.  He or she will probably need some counseling.

Human nature has us wanting to blame / place negligence somewhere.  A few from this thread:
- The person riding (too fat!)
- the kid who was supposed to check to ensure the riders were secure (too young, he/she is to blame!)
- the engineers of the ride (you need to see a chiropractor afterwords, it is too rough a ride!)
- etc

Maybe some of these are valid, or more than likely, there are multiple failures in the system.  Another possibliity is that all precautions truly were taken and the damn thing just broke. (A gear slipped that wouldn't have been caught even on a deep inspection, for example).  Amusement park rides are risky, but it  usually controlled risk.  But you can't remove risk from it entirely; too many variables.  Or you can go the Wargames route: the only winning move is not to play.

Regardless, there is a kid that is going to have to get to sleep tonight after seeing her mother fall to her death.  That is the really shiatty thing. And we may never get a satisfactory explanation.  I hope we do, at least for that kids sake, though.


Best post.
 
2013-07-20 01:27:10 AM  

Confabulat: and i'm really shocked that 16 year old minimum wage workers might not be the best people to trust with my life?


amusement park workers are paid less than minimum wage.

They get the same "seasonal" minimum that migrant farm workers do.  Think about THAT.
 
2013-07-20 01:30:54 AM  

DirtyDeadGhostofEbenezerCooke: Neighborhood Watch: There's actually an entire industry around inspecting amusement park rides for safety.  The insurance companies demand it.  Six Flags has insurance for this sort of thing.  I guarantee it.  I also guarantee that the ride has passed one inspection after another.

Will money be paid out?  Oh, yeah!  But nobody new is going to own Six Flags.

The insurance company will pay for the results of a flawed inspection and an equipment failure.  It will also pay for an employee not correctly securing a rider.

If there is a jury trial, what is going to redline the punitive damages is the overheard 'Everything is fine' after the rider expressed concerned.  It doesn't matter whether it's been said a million times before and always been right.  That emotional bullet point is fatal.


Except it's in Texas and they have caps on punitive damages been trying to find the exact limit but can't I am thinking when the fertilizer plant exploded they were saying it around 250,000 anyone have better Google fu
 
2013-07-20 01:31:58 AM  

derpy: Confabulat: and i'm really shocked that 16 year old minimum wage workers might not be the best people to trust with my life?

amusement park workers are paid less than minimum wage.

They get the same "seasonal" minimum that migrant farm workers do.  Think about THAT.


The migrant workers would keep that crap safe to avoid dealing with LEOs, and would be easier to understand than mumbling teens.
 
2013-07-20 01:43:36 AM  

Oldiron_79: Only clicked once? I'm gonna guess obese passenger.


Or a defunct bar/ fastener . I have been on many rides that bars didn't double click.
 
2013-07-20 01:43:42 AM  
mintberry texas crunch.

: (
 
2013-07-20 01:44:59 AM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: HempHead: The last time I rode the Texas Giant I almost lost the fillings out of my teeth. I think a chiropractor should set up an office at the exit to offer back adjustments.

This, one rough biatch.  I rode it because my party shamed me into it. I hate coasters. I hate airplanes for the same reason. My life is suspect and in the hands of others who are either making 8 bucks an hour or alot more and haven't slept in the last 36 hours. I'll take the bus, you can have your zero G nonsense.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Did you just...SERIOUSLY...suggest...that your life is in better hands with a BUS DRIVER than a pilot?!

You must not value your life, farktard.
 
2013-07-20 01:47:39 AM  

Oldiron_79: Only clicked once? I'm gonna guess obese passenger.


Nvm I just saw the video and the eye witness stated the victim was on the heavy side.
 
2013-07-20 01:51:16 AM  

buserror: mrswood: The comments in the actual article are terrible. You can't blame the stupid kid for this, he didn't design the coaster and is not responsible for maintenance.

The "stupid kid" was an employee responsible for ensuring people are properly secured, and when a problem was brought to his attention, he blew it off without checking.  Sure, there's plenty of blame for Six Flags for not properly training their employees and/or hiring untrustworthy (a.k.a. cheap) employees, and for having equipment that failed in the first place, but that doesn't excuse the employee's (lack of) action when attention was called to the problem.


If it fits/clicks it ships?

It sounds to me she was secure. If she didn't feel safe then she should've gtfo. Either way the guy just pushes a button when the ride says everyone's in. If it breaks it's not his bad.
 
2013-07-20 01:57:03 AM  

Confabulat: and i'm really shocked that 16 year old minimum wage workers might not be the best people to trust with my life?


I made the mistake one time trusting an operator at a carnival. Lets just say the laws of physics, specifically centrifugal force, and earths gravity prevented a tragedy. (It was the moon landers that go upside down with only a bar to restrain you. I didn't see it in action and assumed that the ride did not go upside down with only a lap bar to protect you. But I assumed incorrectly. )
 
2013-07-20 02:01:58 AM  
you know, if you're the dude strapping people in
and she tells you it doesn't feel secure

would it really be such a hassle to check it out?

cuz you just cost your employer their next 20 years in profits
 
2013-07-20 02:07:22 AM  
So.... don't blame the kid is not his fault? Ok, I mean, is not like the woman said "I think this didn't latch properly" OH WAIT SHE DID.

If someone in a rollercoaster says "This didn't lock properly" sure as hell I'm going to investigate before I press "Go". Is like on a plane, if you see smoke coming out of the farking engine before take-off I'm going to go all shouting inside the cockpit...
 
2013-07-20 02:16:02 AM  
I can't think of a time that someone said to the operator "I don't think it lathed right" or "it's too tight" and they didnt hit the release to let them do it again. If it's latched though its supposed to be latched and when the operator does a gentle lift it and it doesn't come up as far as the design goes its out of the operator's hands. They don't go upside down or anything but some rides with shared lapbars... Ugh. Big thunder mountain for example the lap bar doesn't even touch me normally because the person I'm with is bigger than me and I'm surprised myself or some kid has never flung up or out at one of the sharp drops or turns.
 
2013-07-20 02:20:46 AM  

almandot: I can't think of a time that someone said to the operator "I don't think it lathed right" or "it's too tight" and they didnt hit the release to let them do it again.


You can't think of even a single time this may have happened?
 
2013-07-20 02:24:58 AM  

DirtyDeadGhostofEbenezerCooke: UsikFark: the victim expressed concern to a park employee that her harness only clicked once when it was lowered into place, unlike the multiple clicks heard when others were strapped in.

"He was basically nonchalant," Brown said. "He was, like, 'As long as you heard it click, you're fine. Hers was the only one that went down once, and she didn't feel safe. But they let her still get on the ride."

They're not gonna have Jack Lemmon running a roller coaster.

Too bad about her kid being on the ride next to her when she fell off.  On the bright side, he'll soon be the owner of a Six Flags!


She died doing what she loved.
 
2013-07-20 02:28:58 AM  

DirtyDeadGhostofEbenezerCooke: Neighborhood Watch: There's actually an entire industry around inspecting amusement park rides for safety.  The insurance companies demand it.  Six Flags has insurance for this sort of thing.  I guarantee it.  I also guarantee that the ride has passed one inspection after another.

Will money be paid out?  Oh, yeah!  But nobody new is going to own Six Flags.

The insurance company will pay for the results of a flawed inspection and an equipment failure.  It will also pay for an employee not correctly securing a rider.

If there is a jury trial, what is going to redline the punitive damages is the overheard 'Everything is fine' after the rider expressed concerned.  It doesn't matter whether it's been said a million times before and always been right.  That emotional bullet point is fatal.


Except for caps
 
2013-07-20 02:37:27 AM  
Well, there is a good chance that she was a young earth creationist pro-lifer. Let's be positive her.
 
2013-07-20 02:46:52 AM  
My buddy's restraint failed to properly lock on the Superman roller coaster.   Well, it seemed to lock, and then magically unlocked right as the ride was about to start.  The farks running the ride were giving the go ahead to start while he was screaming about it not being properly locked.  It was only because the entire car heard his screams and proceeded to repeat them in unison that the stoned operators hit the emergency stop and proceeded to correct whatever the problem was.

Moral of the story:  If you feel like your restraint didnt engage properly, do whatever it takes to get off or get it farking fixed, and dont take no for an answer.  Not worth it.
 
2013-07-20 02:46:58 AM  
My friend was working at that park while this happened, he was very distraught.
 
2013-07-20 02:53:55 AM  

jst3p: Well, there is a good chance that she was a young earth creationist pro-lifer. Let's be positive her.


At least we all know there is a 100% chance you're an idiot.
 
2013-07-20 02:53:59 AM  
Congratulations, son. You're the new owner of an amusement park.
 
2013-07-20 03:03:40 AM  

TOSViolation: jst3p: Well, there is a good chance that she was a young earth creationist pro-lifer. Let's be positive her.

At least we all know there is a 100% chance you're an idiot.


You are bad at math, there is some degree of chance that it is a simple typo. Are you from Texas? I hear math and cognitive reasoning aren't real big there.
 
2013-07-20 03:12:00 AM  
Today was a bad day for amusement parts. A boat on Shoot The Rapids at Cedar Point suffered anit-rollback failure and tipped over. Multiple injuries, but no fatalities.
 
2013-07-20 03:19:45 AM  

jtown: Oldiron_79: Only clicked once? I'm gonna guess obese passenger.

My thought as well.  I'm a one-clicker on some rides, myself.  But one click should be fine.  Locked is locked.  Even if you're five clicks deep, if the mechanism breaks, it's broke.  It's not like there are 5 independent locking mechanisms, each stronger than the one before.


Well I dont get to ride a lot of rides because my shoulers are about a foot higher than they are made for.
 
HBK
2013-07-20 03:29:31 AM  
Reminds me of a CSB:

Haunted Hotel at MGM at Universal Studios Florida- if you're unfamiliar, you're in a car and you're secured by a lap bar. The ride takes you through an eerie twilight zone episode with holograms, then the room goes dark and the floor basically drops out from under you. You fall thirteen stories and then come back up and fall again a couple times. Its a lot of fun.

Anyway, when I was boarding it there was this young guy, probably early twenties. He was in a wheelchair and had no arms or legs. He made it all the way to the boarding area and the Universal folks turned him away because he had no limbs to stop him from banging around the cage.

I felt sorry for the guy because, aside from the no arms and legs thing, I'm sure it took him a bit to wait and get wheeled up to the front of the ride.
 
2013-07-20 03:37:55 AM  

jst3p: TOSViolation: jst3p: Well, there is a good chance that she was a young earth creationist pro-lifer. Let's be positive her.

At least we all know there is a 100% chance you're an idiot.

You are bad at math, there is some degree of chance that it is a simple typo. Are you from Texas? I hear math and cognitive reasoning aren't real big there.


You think it's because of the typo?

How adorable. Bless your little idiot heart.
 
2013-07-20 03:38:41 AM  

mjones73: skinink: Heard one "Squaaaaack!". Wasn't okay.
[cdn.wl.uproxx.com image 650x475]

Fun coaster, never had a bird hit me in the face on it.. :D


you're not attractive enough.
 
2013-07-20 03:42:48 AM  

fusillade762: Oldiron_79: Only clicked once? I'm gonna guess obese passenger.

Yeah, I was gonna guess "fat", too. But either way, they let her ride anyway. You can bet that's going to be a lawsuit.


A lawsuit for the death or a lawsuit for discrimination for not letting a fatty ride.

I say build all roller coasters over gigantic lakes of jello or pudding so that the fats are excited to fall from their seats.
 
2013-07-20 03:43:19 AM  
I always do my best to wriggle out of restaints on roller coasters. Once I was tripping on acid and we were stuck on the incline to the Montu and it started pouring rain which is essentially like having a hose in your face in Central Florida in the summertime. So we were stuck for like an hour and i kept trying to escape, tripping mad balls all the meantime and spitting water.

I was halfway out and the damn thing started moving and I realized OMG WTF I just about became a Fark headline!

/next time
 
2013-07-20 03:58:03 AM  
I am deathly afraid of rollercoasters (well, any rides really) and this is one if the reasons why. I'll happily hold the coats and bags while everyone gets a go on the death traps though.
 
2013-07-20 04:11:37 AM  
I was once a ride-op on a wooden coaster at one point in my misspent youth. This was at a much nicer park than any of the Six Flags, if I do say so myself. Our Standard Operating Procedure was to check belts and bars TWICE, once down the train for belts and once up the train for bars, and we'd go back and triple-check the restraint if a guest seemed scared.

This was for three reasons:
1. Even if it was nothing, taking the time to check it, give them a smile and reassure them made our team, and by extension the coaster, the park, young college kids in general, look awesome, and it helped our survey numbers.

2. A scared guest could be scared for several reasons, up to and including 'foreign person who was completely unfamiliar with seatbelts' or 'little kid who should be given a line pass so he can go and pee BEFORE riding.'

3. Our Team Leader had once spotted a 'scared' guest who had come alone, undone his belt and used his knee to prop the bar up when it locked. TL caught this from the guy's facial expression alone, refused the 'clear' and signed to the team from Control to third-check him. The extra "you okay there, buddy?" caused the guest to first panic, then burst into sobs. Turned out the poor guest was suicidal, deep in debt, and his plan had been to kill himself on a coaster so his family would get a settlement from the park.

This happened on a surprisingly regular basis. We got about three Suicidals a season on our ride alone and there was coaster-sign for it.

There was a reason why we called our TL 'Fearless Leader.' He had this remarkable gut ability to sense a problem before it happened, bring it to our attention with coaster-sign and head it off before something quirky became a whole can of worms. I saw him catch a kid guest who was about to puke, two different suicidals, an epileptic in moments-to-seizure mode and like five Chessmen a week. Great guy, looked after every member of his team like we were his own siblings. We would've done anything he asked and nobody could say a word against him in our hearing.

Working at an amusement park may sound fun and all, but it's quite Serious Business. Some people come back from the experience changed for life.
 
2013-07-20 04:23:03 AM  

SpiderQueenDemon: I was once a ride-op on a wooden coaster at one point in my misspent youth. This was at a much nicer park than any of the Six Flags, if I do say so myself. Our Standard Operating Procedure was to check belts and bars TWICE, once down the train for belts and once up the train for bars, and we'd go back and triple-check the restraint if a guest seemed scared.

This was for three reasons:
1. Even if it was nothing, taking the time to check it, give them a smile and reassure them made our team, and by extension the coaster, the park, young college kids in general, look awesome, and it helped our survey numbers.

2. A scared guest could be scared for several reasons, up to and including 'foreign person who was completely unfamiliar with seatbelts' or 'little kid who should be given a line pass so he can go and pee BEFORE riding.'

3. Our Team Leader had once spotted a 'scared' guest who had come alone, undone his belt and used his knee to prop the bar up when it locked. TL caught this from the guy's facial expression alone, refused the 'clear' and signed to the team from Control to third-check him. The extra "you okay there, buddy?" caused the guest to first panic, then burst into sobs. Turned out the poor guest was suicidal, deep in debt, and his plan had been to kill himself on a coaster so his family would get a settlement from the park.

This happened on a surprisingly regular basis. We got about three Suicidals a season on our ride alone and there was coaster-sign for it.

There was a reason why we called our TL 'Fearless Leader.' He had this remarkable gut ability to sense a problem before it happened, bring it to our attention with coaster-sign and head it off before something quirky became a whole can of worms. I saw him catch a kid guest who was about to puke, two different suicidals, an epileptic in moments-to-seizure mode and like five Chessmen a week. Great guy, looked after every member of his team like we were his own siblings. We would've done anything he asked and nobody could say a word against him in our hearing.

Working at an amusement park may sound fun and all, but it's quite Serious Business. Some people come back from the experience changed for life.


What's a chessmen?
 
2013-07-20 04:32:03 AM  

EmmaLou: I am deathly afraid of rollercoasters (well, any rides really) and this is one if the reasons why. I'll happily hold the coats and bags while everyone gets a go on the death traps though.


Basically the ratio of (adrenaline achieved)/(safety risk) - (odds that I'm about to puke or get arrested) is as low as it's possible to get.

/Of course, 6'4" and 300 pounds is code for "Oh hey, you don't fit on this ride".
//One of these days, after I drop 60 pounds and get rich, I'm going to travel across the country once in April -> June, just riding every roller coaster I come across.
 
2013-07-20 04:51:13 AM  

Bathysphere: What's a chessmen?


In ride-op slang, Chessmen are guests with something weird that you need to check, because Chess and Checkers. (I know. It's weird.)

And we used chess-piece names to identify which was which, so guests wouldn't overhear and freak. Pawns were kids who were too short or too terrified and whose parents still wanted to try and yank them on. Bishops were people who got on a coaster all serious and then had effing hysterics, calling on Jesus to save them and generally freaking out. Knights were line-jumpers, Rooks were people who'd try to buddy up to us and get us to let them go twice in a row, and so forth. You don't want to know what Queen and King were. Really.


Also, the thumbs-up sign you see for Clear (Clear meaning 'train can go,') is just the tip of the coaster-sign iceberg. There are ride-ops who can have whole conversations in coaster-sign, depending on how good one's TL and ATL were, the nature of the ride and whether or not it was the sort of ride you might need a lot of signs for. Every roller coaster uses High Clear (thumbs up and hand higher than one's head; Low Clear is the same sign at shoulder height or lower, used for 'yes' or 'okay' other than sending trains,) Hold (one hand in fist, other hand gripping own wrist, means 'stop NOW!') and Cross (wrists crossed above head, means 'I wish to cross from one side of the platform to the other,' you give the sign, Control makes eye contact and gives Low Clear, you cross and then return Low Clear once you're literally clear of the gap, like a salute,) but if you have a loud wooden coaster with multiple Safeties and a 48" or 54" height limit, you can have as many as twenty-one unique signs.


It was possible, on our team, to warn Control that 'The guest in Row 2-2 is trying to drag a clearly incapable kid on the ride,' with one hand. You just signed 'Chessman, Pawn, Two, Two.' and Control understood and could direct the closest person accordingly or even get Security if there was a need for it. We had a guy try to sneak a camcorder on the ride and the whole team knew about it before he set foot on the platform, just from the kids at Entrance and Height Check passing the word in coaster-sign.

There was a whole unique culture in the park that I'd be shocked if Corporate was aware of.
 
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