Forums: Skydiving: Wind Tunnels:
Motor falls in Tunnel

 


KevinAllen

Apr 14, 2012, 9:10 AM
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Motor falls in Tunnel Can't Post

Has anyone heard of a motor falling in a tunnel? Heard a rumor but no details.


hub1100  (C 41319)

Apr 14, 2012, 11:21 AM
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Re: [KevinAllen] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Has anyone heard of a motor falling in a tunnel? Heard a rumor but no details.

What is your source ?


bart  (F 670)

Apr 14, 2012, 2:14 PM
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I've heard it to... from someone who was in the states recently in the area of said tunnel. Also heard that someone was flying in the tunnel and had just got out of the flight chamber before the fan fell and went through the net!!! Would be an interesting story if it was true.


diablopilot  (D License)

Apr 14, 2012, 10:11 PM
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Wouldn't be the first time.


Badabing

Apr 14, 2012, 10:45 PM
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Orlando


Andy9o8  (D License)

Apr 15, 2012, 6:32 AM
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Re: [diablopilot] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

I keep tellin' em they can't just hand-tighten the lug nuts. But do they listen? Noooooo..


devildog  (C 40302)

Apr 15, 2012, 6:40 PM
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Re: [KevinAllen] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

If you're talking Orlando, not sure about the motor part, but I know someone that works there (long time friends since middle school) and they were saying the fan actually detached and went flying through a bunch of stuff. Specifics on how that happened, I don't know.


BigBUG  (D License)

Apr 17, 2012, 3:49 AM
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Re: [devildog] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

This is probably the only thisg that scares me as a engineer while I thinking about WT safety. But I never expected that the whole fan could be detached - I was thinking about destruction of the fan for some reason (stress issues, vibration, strange object hitting the fan) and parts of fan flying away like projectiles.

Any details will be greately appreciated.


(This post was edited by BigBUG on Apr 17, 2012, 3:50 AM)


nigel99  (D 1)

Apr 17, 2012, 4:41 AM
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Re: [BigBUG] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
This is probably the only thisg that scares me as a engineer while I thinking about WT safety. But I never expected that the whole fan could be detached - I was thinking about destruction of the fan for some reason (stress issues, vibration, strange object hitting the fan) and parts of fan flying away like projectiles.

Any details will be greately appreciated.

Well if it did happen it smells of poor preventative maintenance. Assuming the fans are made of metal and not some composite, metal fatigue and ageing are pretty well understood and methods of testing are well established.


devildog  (C 40302)

Apr 17, 2012, 4:48 AM
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Re: [BigBUG] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I should probably qualify that the person who told me embellishes at times, though they sounded shaken up & sincere at the time, and looking back, they probably weren't looking to give me a sworn statement. So, if the motors above, maybe it went through the fan and took it out? Or just some blades went flying as it came apart? Not sure, other than the fan had some sort of catastrophic failure and went to pieces according to their story. That's really all I can say as I don't know anything else.


manseman  (D License)

Apr 17, 2012, 8:10 AM
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Re: [KevinAllen] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Has anyone heard of a motor falling in a tunnel? Heard a rumor but no details.
Not really a motor failure, but I was preparing for my turn inside the Bedford tunnel sometime in the spring of 2009 when there was a massive power outage (all over that part of the country, not just the tunnel) and everything just died. Luckily, the three guys inside were on their bellies very close to the net.


DeNReN  (B 5642)

Apr 17, 2012, 3:26 PM
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Just called the Orlando tunnel as we have time booked this coming fri and sat...I was informed they are up and running.Smile


BigBUG  (D License)

Apr 17, 2012, 10:28 PM
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Re: [manseman] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

As far as I know, even in case of sudden and complete stop of the motor, the fan should stop gradually. There should be overruning clutch, I believe (sorry it may be wrong word, I have very limied practice in English :) )?


JohnRich  (D License)

Apr 18, 2012, 6:53 AM
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In reply to:
This is probably the only thisg that scares me as a engineer while I thinking about WT safety.

It seems like there should be daily or weekly inspections for cracks and loose nuts & bolts, just like they do with amusement park rides, so that problems can be detected and fixed before they become catastrophic. There should be an inspectioni checklist, and the employee who performs the inspection should sign it attesting that he's done the work and confirms everything is good to go.


SimonBones  (D 28573)

Apr 18, 2012, 7:41 AM
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Re: [KevinAllen] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

Story is that an instructor was in the tube preparing to take some first time flyers who were sitting in the anti-chamber when an entire fan motor with blades came crashing down through the tube and through the net. The instructor ducked for cover in a corner and was very lucky to have the motor and spinning fan blades pass by. Apparently he received only minor injuries from debris and happened to end up on the only small corner of the net that was left. This could have very easily been a fatality. There is video from the driver's seat that will likely never see the light of day, though I heard this all directly from the mouth of someone who watched the video and who is very close to that instructor. This happened more than a month ago.

Some measures were taken to try and keep the story from spreading or video being leaked. In my most recent trip to Florida, the official story from some other instructors was that the tunnel was down for an overhaul and motor replacement for a few weeks.

One of the major discussion points in the conversation I had with some of those involved were the lack of a real preventative maintenance program with skyventure. Whether that is true or not, I can't say.

I find it really interesting that when a serious incident occurs in skydiving or BASE, details get spread everywhere and incident reports are shared with the community. In the wind tunnel culture, any incident however major or minor is generally covered up tightly. Just my experience with other (smaller) incidents in the past.

This information is all second hand to me, so take it as such. This is by no means an eye witness account. Consider it a rumor.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 18, 2012, 9:34 AM
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Re: [SimonBones] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
One of the major discussion points in the conversation I had with some of those involved were the lack of a real preventative maintenance program with skyventure

In all fairness to Skyventure, isn't Orlando the oldest tunnel they have? I think it was the first and has been in business for a very long time.

Has it all been without incident? According the attempted cover-up, who knows, but considering the failure of the cover-up, I'm guessing this is the first time anything like this has happened.

Anytime there is a 'new' technology, there will be a learning curve with regards to maintenance schedules and preventative maintenance programs. Hopefully, this incident will spark the implementation of PM programs at all the tunnels to prevent a repeat incident.

Beyond that, I can't believe that the fans/motors don't have some sort of tether to anchor them to the walls up where the mount. Given their high rotaional speed, and the fact that they're perched right above where people stand, it seems like a no-brainer. If you mount the tethers above the fans, they won't distrub the airflow or risk being cut by the fan if it should come loose. Just a thought.


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Apr 18, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Re: [SimonBones] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

So the Orlando tunnel is sucker? Or blower? I guess sucker, and the fan fell from the 'ceiling', right?


(This post was edited by skydiverek on Apr 18, 2012, 12:56 PM)


devildog  (C 40302)

Apr 18, 2012, 1:02 PM
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My rumor is in line with your rumor, and we don't know each other and what not, so I'd think its got some weight to it. Just sayin'


Badabing

Apr 19, 2012, 2:52 PM
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my rumor is the same one.. + there is video out there. Don't ask! Tongue


diablopilot  (D License)

Apr 19, 2012, 3:43 PM
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Re: [JohnRich] Motor falls in Tunnel [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
This is probably the only thisg that scares me as a engineer while I thinking about WT safety.

It seems like there should be daily or weekly inspections for cracks and loose nuts & bolts, just like they do with amusement park rides, so that problems can be detected and fixed before they become catastrophic. There should be an inspectioni checklist, and the employee who performs the inspection should sign it attesting that he's done the work and confirms everything is good to go.

Some tunnels do a very detailed daily inspection and some don't. I've always been of the opinion (as witnessed) that Orlando and Perris do such inspections. It's not the first time, nor will it be the last that something goes wrong. Everything in life has risks.

In case it's not clear I feel Orlando and Perris both run fine faciltlities which I'd be happy to fly in any day of the week.


(This post was edited by diablopilot on Apr 19, 2012, 3:44 PM)



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