Tell me about Son Of Beast and the Accident of 2006

Kings Island: I just want to know what really happend and also about how the ride was before and after the change.

From Tim Strickland
Posted May 28, 2008 at 1:49 PM
I know it was a record breaker and once had a loop, but I heard their was an accident that caused the loop to be removed. I just want to know what really happend and also about how the ride was before and after the change. Thanks!

From Derek Potter
Posted May 29, 2008 at 2:18 PM
Son of Beast was a problem child from it's birth. The design was flawed, the construction and materials weren't the best, and the original trains were horrible. There is still a lawsuit against the designer and other parties that built the ride pending in court.

I remember riding it the first year it was out. The drops were thrilling, and the loop was fun, but the trains had no room and rode rough on the track. At 6'2", I had almost no leg room, and the rough ride would bang my knees against a handle bar. It got to the point that I stopped riding it a couple of years later.

The ride was retracked and reprofiled a couple of times, which helped ease the roughness a little bit, but they never addressed the real problem with the ride. The original trains were a lot bigger and heavier than a standard wooden coaster train...the reason being the steel loop in the middle.

The trains had to have enough force to navigate the loop at a high speed. At 80 mph, the heavier trains brought huge amounts of stress on the wooden track and support system. I personally saw the kind of force with my own eyes during a walkback one day. The train took the first helix at a high rate of speed, and as the train banked and went uphill, you could see the structure sway like a tree branch. That kind of force on a structure day in and day out makes a lot of trouble for maintenance.

The investigation concluded that some wood in the structure cracked and gave way, causing a bump in the track. The car didn't derail, but it did give the trainful of people some whiplash among other minor injuries. Kings Island closed the ride while adjustments were made. They removed the loop, retracked, trashed the old trains, and replaced them with the old Hurricane trains from the recently closed Myrtle Beach Pavillion. The ride didn't reopen until a year later on July 4, 2007.

The ride has improved since the new trains. It's not quite as fast as once was, but is still the fastest wooden coaster in the world.

From Jake Countiss
Posted May 31, 2008 at 10:00 AM
As Derek was saying, the ride was poorly designed and had many problems. Another example of this is how X at Magic Mountain had to have the trains retooled to shed tons of weight from its weight. The same applies to Son of Beast since lighter trains were easy to get. The problem, however was that they had to sacrifice the loop in order for this to happen. The choice was pretty much forced since it would probably not pass inspection if they kept it like it used to be. This probably would have marked the end of the coaster's life and a waste of millions of dollars.

From k fel
Posted June 10, 2008 at 7:57 PM
my great uncle designed this roller coaster. -- All neck injuries are self-caused/induced.. he has alzeimers now and everytime he talks about roller coasters he desinged he always always talks about injuries are self-induced and that if you go past 3gs (i think, cant remember) then thats bad and then something about 3 and 100.. no idea but yeah

From Derek Potter
Posted June 11, 2008 at 3:30 PM
I do tend to agree that neck injuries are somewhat self induced, but "learning" to ride a coaster takes a few trips. Many people tend to tense up a little when riding, and excessive G's will move most peoples necks whether they want it to or not.

Knee injuries however, are not self induced. My knees used to be right up against the metal handlebar on the old trains. Ow

From jim figart
Posted August 17, 2008 at 9:24 AM
We just came out of King's Island (16 Aug 08) and we rode, what used to be, Top Gun which is now Flight deck. We were watching the Son of Beast train go up to the top and when it makes it's first turn, at the top, the whole track sways in and out about, what I would guess a good 10 feet. We were amazed that the owners would allow this and we refuse to ride the ride because of this. We are wondering just how long it will take for the sway to break and fall. I seriously doubt that the sway was built into the design. Just my two cents.

From Scottland Jacobson
Posted August 17, 2008 at 11:27 AM
I believe that the trains were too heavy and the track bent down in one section causing the ride to come to sudden halt, injuring the riders. The cars needed to be heavier for the loop, so when they replaced the cars with lighter trains to avoid the stress on the track, the loop was removed.

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