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bobsy852
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:16 pm

I've been looking into this a bit, reading everyone's comments, and trying to learn a bit about roller coasters and find out what happened here.

As I understand it, once car 2 left the first uphill lift between inversions 1 and 2, there is only 1 point between this and the point of impact where the car could have been stopped, a check braking point just before the batwing section of inversions 5 and 6 (just under the lights?)?

Once beyond this check-brake the car is then unstoppable? (despite some early reports that car 2 stopped upside down in inversion 5, I can't see how this is possible, but then I don't know that much about roller coasters).

I've ridden the smiler a few times and always thought this bit of track a bit stupid. It tries to create a "jump" type motion giving the rider the feeling of their stomach rising up to their mouth I suppose (like you go over a hump-back bridge too fast in a car) but because of this it also has to apply the brakes.

I guess this doesn't help the cars trying to carry the speed through the batwing (thus helping cause the problem of car 1 stalling). Surely just remove this section, so that the ride doesn't slow between inversions 4 and 5?
 
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lewis97
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:20 pm

bobsy852 wrote:
As I understand it, once car 2 left the first uphill lift between inversions 2 and 3, there is only 1 point between this and the point of impact where the car could have been stopped, a check braking point just before the batwing section of inversions 5 and 6 (just under the lights?)?

The first lift is located between the first (interior) inversion and the second inversion. Once the car has left the first lift hill there is no point at which it can be brought to a complete stop until the brake run before the vertical lift. You seem to have identified the trim brakes on the bunny hop before the batwing entrance, which are able to slow the train down but not sufficient to stop it completely. Therefore the first block is from the top of the first lift until the end of the mid-course brake run, so once the loaded train crested the first lift hill it was effectively unstoppable.
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bobsy852
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:26 pm

Thanks for clearing that up Lewis!
Baffles me that if there have been issues with a ride that cause you to send out a test car, you then send out a car full before the test car arrives back in the station.

Guess we'll wait to see the full reports on this.

Horrible end to a day for those on the ride! We all go to enjoy these rides and to have one injure you like that must be awful!
 
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Tom
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:38 pm

bobsy852 wrote:
Baffles me that if there have been issues with a ride that cause you to send out a test car, you then send out a car full before the test car arrives back in the station.


As I understand it they sent more than just one test train around before the fully loaded one.
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Stellafella
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:49 pm

Wow that was a harsh interview on sky news!
 
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Legoluce
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:07 pm

Wow that was a harsh interview on sky news!


What did they say please? I've just had a text from my Mum who saw it saying they are dismantling the ride?! I'm assuming that they mean taking the train carriages for investigation?

Also, to Emporium as I haven't had a chance to reply to you yet:

!!!!!!!!! WOW! You are so lucky, I'm glad your OK. Also a great post.
You must be really traumatised!!

Also did you get any refund if they closed the park early, I can understand if they didn't, but this is me just being my nosey usual self!!


Thanks for your comment, I've not been able to stop thinking about it but compared to the people who were on and nearby my experience was nothing. I think it's taken a while to sink in.

I used Sun tickets for entrance to the park on Tuesday so didn't require a refund. They only shut X-Sector, the rest of the park stayed open as usual so I did the other Big 4 again while completely unaware of how serious the accident had been! The park was still open as normal after 5pm with people shopping, buying return tickets or waiting for news by Towers Street.

They did refund our entire hotel stay and the tickets we bought to return on Wednesday after the announcement around 8pm that the park wouldn't be reopening. I found out about the closure on this thread while we were having dinner, and when we got back to our room we had a letter about it. I hadn't expected them to refund the hotel, so that was a surprise.

The other option offered was a return stay, but the wording was confusing on the letter. They offered what they called a "like for like complimentary stay" which I thought meant a free return stay, but what they actually meant when we enquired was they would price match whatever we had paid this time so we would pay the same next time. It was a bit confusing, but we chose the refund because we're not sure if we'll get back up there or not before the end of the year. I got a Big 6 wristband as I had that completed by 1pm but I couldn't decide there and then whether we would come back for it as I was a bit overwhelmed with everything.

I hope they update us soon, and that the riders are recovering from their ordeal.
 
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lewis97
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:13 pm

The full Sky News interview with Nick Varney is available here. It does make for some quite frustrating viewing.
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:41 pm

That is so frustrating, just watched it and all I wanted to do was yell at the screen, good on Nick for sticking up for his choices, that woman was obviously on a witch hunt against Merlin. Apparently placing extra precautions is because the rides weren't safe enough in the first place...
 
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leammiles
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:45 pm

Kay Burley is an awful person.

Google any story about her and she is always trying to drag something or someone through the mud, she is generally a horrible person and has nothing positive to bring to journalism
 
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xxbennxx
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:48 pm

Kay Burley, is, and always has been, extremely rude.

she did not give him a chance to explain anything, constantly interrupted him, shot him down and on top of it all?

Made statements that were fundamentally untrue. Of course the safety measures were adequate, i imagine they are up to an industry standard, and with the new level, take them well above the industry standard and above the standards of other operator's such as Disney or Universal.

I have always believed that woman should not be allowed to broadcast. She is vile and Nick never stood a chance.

Take solace in the fact that this interview was always going to go that way. She is irresponsible in the things she says, of course he is not going to answer if someone has lost a limb, it is not his place.

I still am not agreeing with their actions of not supporting or contacting the other 12 but that interview was a railroad for ratings and all i can say is, shame on you Kay Burley.
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dazza4783
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:57 pm

Yeh that was pretty frustrating to watch, although I do think they might have been better just leaving the 2 rides open and upgrading when they got the chance to. They can't implement this new safety measures straight away but by closing the ride it appears that they are not safe to run. But what they are really saying is that the rides are safe to run, however at present don't match up to the rest of the rides current upgraded safety state so have been closed until they do. If new super safe procedures are in place then a ride cannot run until it meets the current company wide specifications, even if is deemed as safe by anyone elses specifications.
 
Sr88
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:00 pm

Would like to say (kind of missed this part of the discussion but hey), re rollercoaster crumple zone: making a rollercoaster safe to withstand a direct impact of 20+ mph is simply not practical or realistic.

They need to make sure that such a situation can never occur.

On another point, has anyone seen this (apologies if it's already been posted)?
http://www.itv.com/news/2015-06-04/alton-towers-visitor-who-warned-staff-about-carriage-on-rollercoaster-told-to-mind-his-own-business/
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:05 pm

Wow that was harsh...
 
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TheBeast
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:13 pm

I walked up the woman. I said ‘Can you tell me what’s happening?’ She said, ‘There’s a technical problem, we’re dealing with it.’

I said, ‘You do know there’s a car on there don’t you?’

I was told to mind my own business and it’s got nothing to do with me.”


The woman isn't stating that it his none of his business, I think that he was misinterpreted by ITV. I think the woman is trying to say it isn't her business to know, as they wouldn't actually know what's wrong. Also, if the woman did mean that, it is probably because they were stressed the Smiler wouldn't work. Poor, yes, but I think in light of the circumstances the woman was probably at her wits end

The staff are only human, at the end of the day
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tharrison4815
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:15 pm

If Merlin are suspending operation of multiple train rides then I assume when the park re-opens Spinball will be also be closed?
 
coasterbud1983
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:16 pm

If you've just watched the Sky News interview, maybe you should consider this:

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/broadc ... artiality/
5.7 Views and facts must not be misrepresented. Views must also be presented with due weight over appropriate timeframes. <- repeated misrepresentation of what NV was saying, even after repeated clarification from NV.

And then this:
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/broadc ... /fairness/
7.1 Broadcasters must avoid unjust or unfair treatment of individuals or organisations in programmes.
7.6 When a programme is edited, contributions should be represented fairly. <- note numerous occasions where NV was speaking but his microphone was turned down/off

And then this:
http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/complain/ ... omplaints/

It'll take you 5 minutes to do and hopefully it'll get followed up. Complaining to Sky is not really worth it, take it straight to Ofcom.
 
ROYJESS
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:22 pm

tharrison4815 wrote:
If Merlin are suspending operation of multiple train rides then I assume when the park re-opens Spinball will be also be closed?


I believe from NV interview that all the multi car roller coasters will be upgraded/staff retrained to their new level of safety protocol within the next couple of days. So I presume that Spinball will be opened when Alton Towers opens or soon after.
 
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xxbennxx
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:25 pm

Just complained to ofcom, i urge anbody who cares about fair and unbiased journalism to do the same.
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:31 pm

Do u think Sonic Spinball will reopen when the park does as that too has multi-cars on the track at the same time. Chessington really can't cope with just the Vampire open as the only coaster available at the park.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:33 pm

kay burley is the worst interviewer in human history. rude and offensive scaremongering of the worst kind. looking at the negatives rather than realising that there has been an accident and merlin want to improve on their great safety record. all she wanted him to say was that the rides are unsafe. i work as an engineer in a theme park and this sensationalist nonsense is going to ruin a great industry with a terrific safety record

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