Worlds of Fun's new Steelhawk ride leaves riders stranded - KCTV5

Worlds of Fun's new Steelhawk ride leaves riders stranded in mid-air

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Worlds of Fun's newest thrill ride was back up and running Friday, but on Thursday night the Steelhawk came to a standstill, leaving one group of riders stranded in mid-air.

The teenagers laughed about it Friday and even laughed about it a bit Thursday night, but Josh Olvera didn't think the situation was funny.

"I was thinking of that ride coming down, as much as it weighs, I figured it would come down pretty fast," he said.

Thursday night he was on the Steelhawk with two of his kids and his niece. The ride took them straight up like it was supposed to, but then things began malfunctioning.

"About a third of the way it just kind of slowed down for a second and as it slowed down, it paused," Olvera said.

He estimates he was stranded about 100 feet in the air. While up there, his daughter took a moment to snap a photo and take video of their dilemma.

"I was like man, I better not be stuck up here for three hours," Jayleen Olvera said.

A similar thing happened two years ago to people who rode the exact same ride, then called Windseeker, when it was at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. California shut down the ride because the maintenance ladder did not meet state standards. Worlds of Fun later bought the ride and renamed it the Steelhawk.

The Olvera family did praise Worlds of Fun for acting quickly. A little more than 20 minutes later, everyone was back on the ground.

While the kids all want to go back on the Steelhawk, Josh Olvera said he'll think twice.

"I don't like spinning rides. My kids convinced me to get on it this time," he said.

Worlds of Fun has not returned KCTV5's calls and/or emails for comment.

There are a total of six rides similar to the Steelhawk at parks in North America; it's called Windseeker at some of them. There are two in Ohio, one at Carowinds in Charlotte, NC, one at Kings Dominion Park in Doswell, VA, and one in Ontario, Canada.

In March KCTV5 told viewers that some of the rides have experienced similar incidents. In 2012 riders on the Windseeker at Cedar Point in Ohio were stranded up in the air for hours.

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