Reply
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,776
Registered: ‎02-13-2021

The Orlando Free Fall Investigation Results

Two seats on ICON Park's drop tower ride had been manually adjusted, officials say

By Kevin Conlon 1 hr ago
 
Two seats on an Orlando, Florida, amusement park ride, including that of a 14-year-old boy who fell to his death from the ride last month, had been manually adjusted, a forensic engineering firm hired to investigate the incident found.
 
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried and State Rep. Geraldine Thompson presented the firm's findings during a news update Monday.
 

The operator of the FreeFall drop tower made manual adjustments to two seats on the ride "presumably, to allow for larger riders, which should not have happened based on the manufacturer's guidelines," said Thompson.

 

"All protocols, procedures and safety measures provided to us by the manufacturer of the ride were followed. Today's report suggests a full review of the ride's design, safety, operation, restraint mechanisms and history -- which of course we welcome," Trevor Arnold, an attorney for the ride's operator, Orlando Slingshot, said in a statement.

 

"Seat 1's harness proximity sensor was manually loosened, adjusted and tightened to allow a restraint opening of near 7 inches," about 4 inches more than the normal opening range for the restraints, according to the report produced by Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis, Inc.

Its engineers went to the site of the accident to investigate in early April.

The opening on the restraint may have grown to as much as 10 inches with force, according to the report.

 

The FreeFall drop tower manufacturer's guideline puts a rider's weight limit at 250 pounds, Thomson said; Tyre Sampson weighed approximately 340 pounds, his family told CNN.

 

The FreeFall takes riders to the top of a 430-foot tower, tilts them face to the ground, and falls at speeds of up to 75 mph, the ICON Park's website says. Operators call it the world's tallest free-standing drop tower, the sheriff's office said.

 

The ride passed a safety inspection in December before it was allowed to open, according to a safety inspection report obtained by CNN.

The document from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services noted the drop tower passed inspection on December 20, 2021. No deficiencies were listed in the report.

 

The report did not indicate who adjusted the ride, but found the adjustments were made after the harness sensors of the ride "were initially secured in place."

 

Fried said now that they know what mechanically took place, they will next seek to find out how and why, before they assess what penalties may come.

 

The operator's attorney said Orlando Slingshot has "fully cooperated with the State during the initial phase of its investigation, and we will continue to do so until it has officially concluded.

 

The ride has been closed since Sampson's death, and it will remain closed "indefinitely," Fried said Monday.

 

ICON Park, where the drop tower ride is located, said it is "deeply troubled" by the report.

 

"We are deeply troubled that the preliminary findings of the State's investigation indicate a sensor on the Orlando FreeFall attraction, which is owned and operated by the SlingShot Group, had been mis-adjusted after the sensor was originally secured in place," the park said in a statement.

 

"ICON Park is committed to providing a safe, fun experience for families. We will continue to support the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with their ongoing investigation," the statement read.

 
 
 
 
I hope that short term gain they got for letting heavier people ride made them enough money for the lawsuit that's bound to come.  It wasn't worth someone losing his life over.  Greed.  When is enough$$$ enough?




A Negative Mind ~ Will give you a Negative Life
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,291
Registered: ‎06-15-2015

Re: The Orlando Free Fall Investigation Results

@gertrudecloset 

 

Thank you for posting this information. Everyone responsible for that young man's death should be held accountable, and the extent existing laws allow.

 

To me this borders on even being classified as an "accident". When a person manually overrides set safety rules, to me it is a stretch to call it an accident. I see it as an expected outcome for so blatantly bypassing set safety rules.

 

No amount of $$$ can replace this young man's life to his family. It is sad that this family has to suffer through this unnecessary tragedy for the rest of their lives. Whatever monetary compensation they get from this tragedy will not be enough. 🙏

 

 

hckynut  🇺🇸

 

 

 

 

hckynut(john)
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,776
Registered: ‎02-13-2021

Re: The Orlando Free Fall Investigation Results

[ Edited ]

@hckynutjohn wrote:

@gertrudecloset 

 

Thank you for posting this information. Everyone responsible for that young man's death should be held accountable, and the extent existing laws allow.

 

To me this borders on even being classified as an "accident". When a person manually overrides set safety rules, to me it is a stretch to call it an accident. I see it as an expected outcome for so blatantly bypassing set safety rules.

 

No amount of $$$ can replace this young man's life to his family. It is sad that this family has to suffer through this unnecessary tragedy for the rest of their lives. Whatever monetary compensation they get from this tragedy will not be enough. 🙏

 

 

hckynut  🇺🇸

 

 

 

Won't be viewed as an accident.  That's not what it was.


The guidelines for operating the ride dictate how the ride SHOULD have been operated.  When you buy a car, but use it like it's an oven then the manufacturer can't help you and you have no recourse.  You have to use a product "as intended."  In this instance, they did not use the ride like they should have and made adjustments.  The builder of the ride knew this and stated as such.  Why the operator who purchased the ride decided to make changes which were not in the directions and specifications for use decided to "adjust it" for larger riders is tantamount to neglect.  Not an accident.  

 

No amount of money will bring this child back.  However, there WILL be a lawsuit, just like many before him and the very many that will come hereafter in the name of negligence @hckynutjohn .

 

It's unfortunate, but there it is.  Use the product as intended.  I can't recall the last time I purchased some do-dad and it didn't tell me to use it as they intend it to be used.  That's their get out of jail free card (manufacturer).





A Negative Mind ~ Will give you a Negative Life
Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,633
Registered: ‎05-13-2010

Re: The Orlando Free Fall Investigation Results

To modify seats in order to accomodate larger riders albeit kids or adults should NEVER have taken place. There is OR WAS a weight limit on this ride as well. Those who made this seat adjustment and modification are as responsible as this kid's parents are.

 

This death never should have happened. This kid never should have been permitted to get on it. The modification should have never happened - a trajedy that never should have taken place, certainly this kid as well was old enough to know he was well over the weight limit to even attempt to get on this ride.

 

This is exactly why there are rules, regulations, height and weight limits on carnival rides.

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,974
Registered: ‎05-24-2010

Re: The Orlando Free Fall Investigation Results


@PINKdogWOOD wrote:

To modify seats in order to accomodate larger riders albeit kids or adults should NEVER have taken place. There is OR WAS a weight limit on this ride as well. Those who made this seat adjustment and modification are as responsible as this kid's parents are.

 

This death never should have happened. This kid never should have been permitted to get on it. The modification should have never happened - a trajedy that never should have taken place, certainly this kid as well was old enough to know he was well over the weight limit to even attempt to get on this ride.

 

This is exactly why there are rules, regulations, height and weight limits on carnival rides.

 


The only part of your post that is correct is the word you use to describe this "kid." He was a "kid" 14 years old. He just wanted to have fun with his friends on a ride. He trusted the operator when he let him go on the ride. At 14 he didn't have the for-sight to see the possible outcome. His brain wasn't wired for that. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,831
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: The Orlando Free Fall Investigation Results

With adults attacking, some even shooting, those who insisted people follow the rules and wear a mask, is it any wonder the attendant accommodated this boy and the adult who accompanied him?

Regular Contributor
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎07-12-2012

Re: The Orlando Free Fall Investigation Results

There wasn't a posted weight limit on the ride is what I also read. There was a posted height limit but not weight.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,776
Registered: ‎02-13-2021

Re: The Orlando Free Fall Investigation Results


@lovethgedress wrote:

There wasn't a posted weight limit on the ride is what I also read. There was a posted height limit but not weight.


Thank you for that bit of information @lovethgedress !  No one should be blaming this 14 year old for his death.





A Negative Mind ~ Will give you a Negative Life