Troubled thrill ride relocated to Worlds of Fun set to open

The Steelhawk will take people 300 feet in the air and twirl them at up to a 45-degree angle for about 60 seconds.

A trouble-prone ride that is known for stranding people 300 feet in the air is almost reconstructed at Worlds of Fun.

The Kansas City amusement park got the ride from Knott's Berry Farm, a 160-acre California theme park, where it was shut down because it didn't pass state standards. The two parks are owned by the same company.

When the ride got to Kansas City, its name changed from the Windseeker to the Steelhawk. It is not uncommon for parks to share rides.

The Steelhawk will take people 300 feet in the air and twirl them at up to a 45-degree angle for about 60 seconds.

The ride malfunctioned twice in 2012, most dramatically when a frozen brake left 20 riders stranded for several hours until they could be safely brought down. No one was injured.

A Knott's Berry Farm spokeswoman wouldn't confirm any claims that the ride was being relocated because of the prior troubles.

The ride has remained closed and other Windseeker rides at five other parks also were voluntarily shut down.

Worlds of Fun park officials say they'll do everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen.

Maintenance director Wayne Meadows says not to worry, the ride is safe.

"It is perfectly safe. I have no problems riding it myself or putting my family in it," he said.

The safety system is ultra sensitive. The ride will stop if it senses even the slightest issue.

In one case, Meadows says, one of the brakes was a little tight on the system and it shut itself down.

Knott's Berry Farm closed the ride because a maintenance ladder wasn't up to state standards.

"Our guys actually climb these ladders every day for safety inspections," Meadows said.

And before guests can get on, the Steelhawk must pass a Missouri state inspection.

"I have no qualms about that at all. It will work fine," Meadows said. "I think the first riders that get on here will be in for an absolute rush."

If you're feeling brave, you can try out the ride for yourself. Worlds of Fun opens for the season April 12.

Click here to see video of the Steelhawk in action.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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