California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

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Postby Angry_Gumball » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:31 pm

I just got to thinking about the Invertigo and even the SLC coasters...why do they not have stairs under the lifts like how the B&M and other inverted coasters do? Do these Invertigo and even Giant Invertigo coasters not have some kind of manual control to bring the cars back down? I know how there's the whole Anti-Rollback thing kicking in while the train's being lifted up but then the rollbacks disengage when the train drops (If I'm guessing right) so couldn't they have just done something like that and let the train 'valley' it's self back in the station? Or is that a ridiculous thought?

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Postby Tmcdllr » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:40 pm

Invertigos do not have anti rollbacks, the train is held by the catch car. According to the local news, the reason they couldn't just release the train and let it valley is because of "mechanical failure" whatever that may be. So apparently they are not able to release the train from the catch car and had to evacuate the riders.

Here is a link to the local news with an article and video:
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?sectio ... id=6957962

Article text:


By David Louie

SANTA CLARA, CA (KGO) -- 24 people got trapped on a roller coaster at the Great America theme park for hours after their ride got stuck on Monday. Riders were stuck as high as 80 feet in the air. It took rescue crews several hours to get them down safely, bringing down one person at a time.

Many park guests did not have a clue what was happening on the "Invertigo," one of the most visible rides at the park. They were shielded from the area and Great America staff told many people to go home and would only say they were closing down for repairs.

Fire rescue teams from Santa Clara County, the City of Santa Clara and San Jose responded to the incident. They used a 100-foot aerial ladder to get the 24 stranded riders back to the ground.

It was a painstaking process. Firefighters have had to strap each person into a safety harness before releasing the rollercoaster's harness. The first rescue was completed around 3:15 p.m., just over two hours after the incident began.

Great America spokesman Jim Stellmack told ABC7 they process was intentionally slow.

"All the guests are seated. They're not upside down or anything like that. They're in a seated position, comfortably. So, safety is our number one priority, so we're taking it slow and easy to make sure that we do this and don't have any issues as a result," he said.

"Most of the kids that were up there, they were pretty much, they were kicking their feet and they didn't look like anybody was in any distress. Looked like a lot of people were handing them water and stuff, keeping them hydrated," recalled park visitor Brian Murrell.

It was a very hot afternoon in Santa Clara so riders have been provided bottled water in order to stay hydrated.

Invertigo made its debut 11 years ago at Great America. It experienced a similar accident in April of 2000 when 25 riders were stuck halfway up for half an hour. There were no injuries then and none have been reported today.

A Cal-OSHA official in charge of park safety is heading to the park to take a closer look at what happened. Park officials could not say exactly what led to the car getting stuck.


Another local news source: From NBC11:

Updated 6:02 PM PDT, Mon, Aug 10, 2009


It took rescue crews nearly five hours to get 24 passengers off of a roller coaster at Great America in Santa Clara Monday. The ride was supposed to last just 70 seconds, but got stuck.

Images from news helicopters above the scene showed dozens of people stuck on the ride several stories above ground. The people on the lower end were at least 40 feet off the ground, with the people on top another 40 feet or so higher.

The park said the ride suffered a problem with its lift chain, but that no one was ever in any immediate danger. They said fixing the ride was priority No. 2 and that getting the rider safely off and back on terra firma was priority No. 1.

Half of the riders were stuck leaning back and the other half were leaning forward in their seats with their legs dangling.

Some of the passengers could be seen holding bottles of water.

The passenger at the very bottom of the ride were tended to first by rescue crews on a cherry picker.

The ride is the Invertigo, which is a roller coaster in which riders' feet dangle below them as they are taken in loops at speeds of up to 50 mph.

Fire Capt. Scott Kouns said the good news is that the riders aren't upside-down, although they are at a steep angle.

"They're sitting upright," he said. "They're not hurt, there's no injuries."

It's a hot day in the Santa Clara with temperatures in the 90s. Any time trapped on a roller coaster would be uncomfortable to say the least and it took at least an hour to get the first person off the ride.

Fire crews on cherry pickers took passengers off their seats one by one. As soon as two people were off-loaded they were lowered to the ground. Kouns said that to release the riders' harnesses, which come down over their shoulders, two pins have to be released simultaneously.

Invertigo is North America's first inverted face-to-face roller coaster.


It took rescue crews nearly five hours to get 24 passengers off of a roller coaster at Great America in Santa Clara Monday. The ride was supposed to last just 70 seconds, but got stuck.

Images from news helicopters above the scene showed dozens of people stuck on the ride several stories above ground. The people on the lower end were at least 40 feet off the ground, with the people on top another 40 feet or so higher.

The park said the ride suffered a problem with its lift chain, but that no one was ever in any immediate danger. They said fixing the ride was priority No. 2 and that getting the rider safely off and back on terra firma was priority No. 1.

Half of the riders were stuck leaning back and the other half were leaning forward in their seats with their legs dangling.

Some of the passengers could be seen holding bottles of water.

The passenger at the very bottom of the ride were tended to first by rescue crews on a cherry picker.

The ride is the Invertigo, which is a roller coaster in which riders' feet dangle below them as they are taken in loops at speeds of up to 50 mph.

Fire Capt. Scott Kouns said the good news is that the riders aren't upside-down, although they are at a steep angle.

"They're sitting upright," he said. "They're not hurt, there's no injuries."

It's a hot day in the Santa Clara with temperatures in the 90s. Any time trapped on a roller coaster would be uncomfortable to say the least and it took at least an hour to get the first person off the ride.

Fire crews on cherry pickers took passengers off their seats one by one. As soon as two people were off-loaded they were lowered to the ground. Kouns said that to release the riders' harnesses, which come down over their shoulders, two pins have to be released simultaneously.

Invertigo is North America's first inverted face-to-face roller coaster.

Meanwhile, Great America security guards had blocked off much of the park and visitors said some of the other aerial rides had been taken out of service.

Many visitors wondered what was happening and some were upset that so many rides were restricted.

A Great America spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.

The Invertigo consists of seven-car train that takes riders upside-down six times, to heights of up to 161 feet, in one minute and 10 seconds, according to Great America's Web site.

Each car is attached to the track from above and seats four riders back-to-back, with their feet dangling below them.




Apparently, it was at the beginning of the of the ride cycle as the train was being pulled up the first lift hill and the train is stopped about halfway up. So, I wonder what happened to the lift chain? Of course, on one of the channels, they also had to mantion the 'famous rollercoaster accident' at Marine World with Boomerang and the Drop Zone accident. Totally unrelated but whatever, you know how the media is. And I don't know why they keep calling this an accident, NO ONE WAS HURT, so calling it an incident would be more appropriate. Good job to the Great America staff for the way they are handling this and the Fire Department, etc. Actually this really is not that big a deal. I think the only reason it made it to the news is because of the fact they had to call in outside assistance (since there is no other way to get riders off the train at that point) and how long it is taking. I am very interested to know what exactly happened.
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Postby Angry_Gumball » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:06 pm

Just watched an update on the Invertigo malfunction, and all riders are now off of it. I like how the news brought up how the Boomerang at SFDK got stuck 10 years ago and claiming that riders were stuck upside down when they were more like sideways...I wonder how popular Invertigo's going to be now that the media got a hold of the event.

I also wonder what benefits (besides water) the trapped guests got for sitting for 4 hours on the ride...

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Postby CGA_88 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:41 pm

Looks like 2010 season passes are on sale already.

www.cagreatamerica.com/shop/shopping_season_pass.cfm

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Postby Bolliger&Mabillard » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:41 pm

I wonder how popular Invertigo's going to be now that the media got a hold of the event


It's going to spawn a whole two pages worth of things to go in the "wierdest things the GP say". Keep your ears open.
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Postby CGA_88 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:55 pm

I was unfortunately at the park today. I got there after it happened and they had the entire back half of the park blocked off. Even rides that were far from Invertigo were closed because people could see what is going on.

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Postby c0sterfreek » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:07 pm

I worked at great America for 3 seasons and 2 of the seasons i worked on Top Gun. What people don’t understand is that THIS ISNT A BIG DEAL. Rides break down, it happens. It sucks that they had to sit there hanging for hours but lets face it. I rather be where they were then on the very top or upside down. You know there’s always a risk this may happen on any ride you go on. Deep breathe people!

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Postby Angry_Gumball » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:09 pm

That's what I read on the news...All of the aerial-type rides as the news called it were down so that the GP couldn't see and freak out. I really think that the media blew it out of proportion as coasters get stuck on the lift hills often, and a lot of the time, the people are evacuated. So because Invertigo is missing steps under the lift for evacuation purposes, it' suddenly a top story for the local news. Yes, I feel sorry for the riders who had most of their day blown sitting in the heat, and for those guests who had only a half-functioning park during that time but the news is stemming stuff up that happened 10 years ago making false claims to assure that these coasters are dangerous. Boomerang at SFDK (mentioned earlier) was claimed to be stuck upside down, and the shot they had as they said it had the cars at most 90 degrees. I believe it was the ABC7 news that pulled off that one.

/end rant...now to watch more exaggerated responses of guests..lol!

First comment heard on the news causing a laugh:

"Even the log ride got jammed today!"

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Postby c0sterfreek » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:13 pm

Also the guest are saying that there pissed off because the people who worked there weren't telling them what was going on. There not allowed too. And most of the time, They really don't! The manager tells you to go stand over there and you do it. don't blame the workers!

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Postby Crazy_Behemoth_Lady_Jess » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:24 pm

I just heard about the Invertigo story on the news afew minutes ago. It must have really been a big thing because it made it onto Canadian television too.

Good news is, if there's any coaster enthusiasts on there, they get the evac credit. Although being stuck up there in the heat sucks.

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