thunderbolt85
Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:31:32 PM
Anybody have any interesting stories while working/managing a Sky Wheel or Sky Diver?

We had a Sky Wheel, and although I never worked on it, I remember some things. One bad was one time the guys were using a heavy rope to pull the spokes up to the axle while setting up and the rope broke, the spoke fell back down on a guys chest. They rushed him to the hospital and he lived and was back out on the lot a few weeks later, but he had a "dent" in his chest for the rest of his life. I remember funnel clouds going over the Sky Wheel as well and the guys scrambling to get the seats off.

I didn't see it, but heard some guys on Big A talking about a funnel cloud coming over the Sky Diver one day and they were using trucks to keep it in the air.

Anybody got anything?
Scott
  •  Scott
  • 86.98% (Honored)
  • Operations Foreman
Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:42:49 PM
How heavy are the spokes for the Sky Diver? I've never seen a Sky Diver go up in person, but I recently saw a video of one, and one man at the end of the spoke picked it up by himself, and walked it to an upright position while the man in the center connected it to the spoke already in place.

Anyone?
ringmaster
Friday, February 1, 2013 10:44:11 PM
Murphy Bros. had a green 2end man on their diver, during tear down he was on the deck and told not to touch the controls. after the 4's were removed ..........
anyway, it fell on the Girl Review, one of the last ones running.
Murphy the kid to get his things and leave, they'd give him a thirty minute head start.
swooper
Saturday, February 2, 2013 12:13:46 AM
On A of A a long time ago,the diver was next to a plant,
the show closed and the plant ran for at least one hour after closing.
when the plant was finally turned off, voices where heard from near the top yelling, HELP!
geewizz66
Sunday, February 3, 2013 4:50:25 AM
Originally Posted by: swooper 

On A of A a long time ago,the diver was next to a plant,
the show closed and the plant ran for at least one hour after closing.
when the plant was finally turned off, voices where heard from near the top yelling, HELP!



Off topic but one night after a busy night at a catholic church, once the show was closed and a few of us were hanging out the the committee in the beer garden we heard 'hey, hey' Our rock foreman had left two people on the ride........not one of our finest moments but it WAS a very busy day in 105 + temps. We got the guys down, game them a beer and a large piece of plush and they were happier anyway!


We borrowed a Diver for a big event and we didn't really have any one with that much experience and when we were tearing it down, we didn't know about the numbered holes on the bottom of all four sides when you lower the scissors and we kind of got it off balance. My father came running up and said "this thing is going to fall over!" I was lowering the towers and couldn't really tell that the ride was LEANING. I turned off the pump walked about 40' in front of the ride and practically crapped my pants! We got it down, and sent it back to Wisdom's! The sweeps weren't that heavy but I seem to remember two guys on the extension pieces. The tubs were a pain because the gantry wasn't working properly.

Geewizz66
Flying Coaster
Sunday, February 3, 2013 1:21:45 PM
Originally Posted by: geewizz66 

Off topic but one night after a busy night at a catholic church, once the show was closed and a few of us were hanging out the the committee in the beer garden we heard 'hey, hey' Our rock foreman had left two people on the ride........not one of our finest moments but it WAS a very busy day in 105 + temps. We got the guys down, game them a beer and a large piece of plush and they were happier anyway!


We borrowed a Diver for a big event and we didn't really have any one with that much experience and when we were tearing it down, we didn't know about the numbered holes on the bottom of all four sides when you lower the scissors and we kind of got it off balance. My father came running up and said "this thing is going to fall over!" I was lowering the towers and couldn't really tell that the ride was LEANING. I turned off the pump walked about 40' in front of the ride and practically crapped my pants! We got it down, and sent it back to Wisdom's! The sweeps weren't that heavy but I seem to remember two guys on the extension pieces. The tubs were a pain because the gantry wasn't working properly.



I assume that this means each of the four leg's lifting cylinders are controlled independently?
All Skywheels should be yeller.
JustJeff
Sunday, February 3, 2013 2:47:53 PM
Originally Posted by: swooper 

On A of A a long time ago,the diver was next to a plant,
the show closed and the plant ran for at least one hour after closing.
when the plant was finally turned off, voices where heard from near the top yelling, HELP!



Man I cracked up when I saw this..!I can almost picture it happening..They should be thankful it wasnt a 40 miler show ,where the help is gone as soon as the show closes and the lot is like a ghost town shortly after closing..lol--that would have made for a long night..jeff
hrubetz76
Sunday, February 3, 2013 2:49:03 PM
Flying Coaster, the 4 lifting cylinders are controlled by one lever. They all have a slightly different speed going up and down so every so many holes on the side of the trailer had to have a big fat pin put in to keep the scissors coming down evenly. I ended up numbering every single hole (bit of an overkill) with stick-on numbers so there was no confusion when the lead man yelled out any number to put the pin in. I was amazed at how well those little sticky numbers held up for years before the owner sold it.
FriedPhil
Sunday, February 3, 2013 7:02:41 PM
I liked to assist in setting up the Sky Diver in the 1970s when I was the "mic" man on Murphy's Flying Bobs ride.

One time in Galveston, the Diver foreman had just raised the scissors and while the guys were adding the structure, the foreman grabbed the wrong hydraulic handle and accidentally got the outriggers so far from level he screamed at us all to run. The ride was partially assembled and leaning so far to one side I don't know how it didn't turn over.

The Diver foreman was just frozen at the controls; he didn't know what to do, because he was so close to the ride he couldn't see how far out of level the whole thing was, or which way it had to go to level it.

Murphy's lot foreman took a bullhorn, stood way far away (really far away) and yelled instructions at him as to which outriggers to operate until the ride truck was level again.

It was really, really hairy. We nearly dumped that ride onto a highway.

I stayed away from the Diver after that and assisted on the Tilt.
Please do not exit the ride until it comes to a complete stop.
Flying Coaster
Monday, February 4, 2013 3:36:51 AM
Originally Posted by: hrubetz76 

Flying Coaster, the 4 lifting cylinders are controlled by one lever. They all have a slightly different speed going up and down so every so many holes on the side of the trailer had to have a big fat pin put in to keep the scissors coming down evenly. I ended up numbering every single hole (bit of an overkill) with stick-on numbers so there was no confusion when the lead man yelled out any number to put the pin in. I was amazed at how well those little sticky numbers held up for years before the owner sold it.



Got it, thanks. I'd seen the rows of holes but just have never had any hands on time with a diver.
All Skywheels should be yeller.
thunderbolt85
Monday, February 4, 2013 3:08:27 PM
Thanks for the stories everyone, its fun to hear all the tales about things like this.

Plus its interesting to hear about setting them up and tearing them down. We didn't have one but the Diver was always one of my favorites, but I had heard many times they were dangerous setting up/tearing down if you didn't know what you were doing.
skydiver77
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 1:09:20 AM
When Inners Shows had their Sky Diver ( before Ed sold it recently ), i remember watching them set it up, and i do remember Ed helping out with the set up of it and after each little job on the sweeps, getting them into that "Wheel" shape, they'd move the scissor lift up & put the pin in a certain hole. Back in the fall of 2009, i helped with the tear down of J & J Amusements' Sky Diver & yes, those Diver cars do weigh quite a bit. Without the help of that chain hoist, it would definitely be a pain to load them back into the semi trailer!! [:0] I remember that night, it took atleast 3 to 4 men to pick each Diver car up & put on the exit platform, and they would take that chain hoist & grab the front of the car, and put it on a hanger of some sort, & slide it towards the back of the semi trailer, until the trailer could hold no more. Well, 16 Diver cars fit in a semi trailer perfectly! And one day, i want to get my hands on just one, sitting in my room for display as the Sky Diver is and has, always will be, my favorite ride. Having a car from it? ..would be so freakin' awesome! [:d]
JMM
  •  JMM
  • 50.24% (Neutral)
  • Operations
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 1:49:05 PM
Sorry, Thunderbolt - you missed your opportunity for a Diver tub of your own.

All County Amusements of Long Island NY sold off the pieces of their 1970 Sky Diver in the past few years on Ebay. This Sky Diver came from my "home park", Rocky Point in Warwick RI, and I spent a lot of time riding and staring at that thing for 25 years!

The lighted incandescent sign (elongated metal diamond, pre-turbo lite) went to someone in Las Vegas who had a video posted on youtube, no longer on the site. At 16' long, I didn't really have a home for it here in Boston.

The tubs sold individually for anywhere between $350 - $500 dollars, pick up only. I wish I had bid on one, as I believe one of them has turned up here (link below). Not sure I like that paint job, but I am sure I don't like that price!

http://amusingthezillion...60s-chance-skydiver-car/ 

I also saw a factory fresh, never used "replacement" tub on one of the used ride sites a few years back. Great looking original BLUE paint job, matching blue roof panel, was offered for $2000.

If anyone knows of any around the New England area, I now have a truck available to pick one up! Any condition acceptable.

On another note regarding the Sky Diver: When it was first delivered to Rocky Point for the 1970 season, it quickly became a favorite and I rode them everywhere and anywhere - there were plenty on the circuit back then. I recalled riding a few 'divers with open spoke black steering wheels, similar to a tractor steering wheel and smaller than an automobile's wheel. But shortly thereafter, the solid metal wheel was on all models. Obviously, you could put your arm through the spokes, and then get into trouble with the grab bars or under the "hood" of the tub. I believe Chance Mfg issued a safety bulletin for these changes, but don't have a copy in my Sky Diver files. Does anyone recall the change and/or any problems with the previous versions of the steering wheel?

And one last - or should I say "first" - item on the Sky Diver:

http://durhammuseum.cont...426coll2/id/4003/rec/871 .

Look around - There are a few pics in this collection of the prototype park version first installed at Cincinnati's Coney Island.

Thanks - John



britt
  •  britt
  • 97.96% (Exalted)
  • Operations Foreman
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 2:39:08 PM

There has to be some rope stories on the skywheel somewhere. saw an electrician get knocked off a skywheel trailer one time. somehow part of the ride became energized and he happened to touch that part. luckly he was knocked off instead of being fried.
80meterwheelman
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 8:40:54 PM
I remember back in the 90's, I booked some equipment with MBGS at the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln. A Skywheel crew member had a small drum set inside one of the trailer sheds. After the show closed down for the night, he would begin to wail out some cool rifs. Who was that guy?
Doing nothing is tiresome because you can't stop to rest.