The Life of Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight / Southern Cross

All about the rides at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA and post-Marriott rides, too
flyingskooter
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Post by flyingskooter » Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:02 pm

coasterfan71555 wrote:I think one of the major reasons the skyrides were removed was because of a major incident at Six Flags over Mid America (St. Louis) where their skyride cable snapped and there were some casualties. I really don't remember when that happened, but I am sure it did happen. Thus, I believe that because of this, all skyrides were removed from all Six Flags parks. If anyone remembers when that St. Louis accident happened, please refresh my memory. I do have many pleasant memories of riding the Delta Flyer/Eagle's Flight and Southern Cross. I especially remember passing by or over Tidal Wave and watching that ride go through its paces. I also remember the sign at the turnaround of Southern Cross saying that "The Great Southwest Territory rises in '79". I wish I had taken a photo of that! Of course, that did not happen until 1996! :idea:
The accident at Six Flags over Mid-America wasn't a cable snap. (this is how these stories get started!)
One of the braces at the top of the towers that carries the pulleys and cable snapped due to a faulty weld or metal fatigue on 7/26/78. This knocked one of the cars off the cable, killing three and injuring one. The ride was then "E" stopped preventing further injury but stranding almost 100 people in the 27 remaining gondolas.

According to most industry people the reason for the large scale removal of the rides is the outrageous insurance premiums for a ride that opens the opportunity for people to maliciously drop objects on others.

Another Six Flags park that still runs one is Great Adventure in New Jersey. They have the four lane model that was originally at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

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that_guy
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Post by that_guy » Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:51 pm

I noticed in some pictures of Southern Cross Skyride the cables were severly loaded with cabins and the cables sagged a lot. Today you don't see this anymore, is it becuase of safety reasons(which I presumed) or that the parks didn't need as many cabins becuase less people are riding?









9

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m11stephen2
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Post by m11stephen2 » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:54 am

Did southern cross and eagles flight use the same cars?

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steven
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Post by steven » Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:22 am

Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight had forty-two cabins and Southern Cross had its own forty-two cabins. They were essentially the same, except that the Southern Cross cabins had a double rail on them while the Delta / Eagle's cabins had a single rail. I never saw any other cabins of this type with the double rail that was characteristic of the Southern Cross cabins. After they were moved to New Jersey, I guess that the double rail was removed and replaced by the cage-like bars that they added as a custom "feature". The cabins were made by CWA of Switzerland: http://www.cwa.ch/english/flashindex.html.

Steven

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that_guy
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Post by that_guy » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:03 pm

I just noticed in this picture in the album of RanyV of Tidal Wave. I never noticed until now the colors of the skyride towers. I have only seen them when their either White or Blue but not Green or Yellow. I just found it interesting… Was their a reason for the colors?

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/images ... 1&pos=-129

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steven
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Post by steven » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:23 pm

The Southern Cross towers were always that shade of pale yellow. The Santa Clara Delta / Eagle's towers originally started out as a similar shade of pale yellow. As far back as 1977, the Gurnee Delta / Eagle's towers were a pale shade of green. I don't know if they were that color in 1976 or not. For the 1981 season, the Gurnee Delta / Eagle's towers were painted a brighter green, as seen in Randy's photo. The shade of blue for the blue cabins was also changed that year. I don't know if Santa Clara's Delta / Eagle's towers also received that same bright green color. Blue towers on Santa Clara's Delta / Eagle's have been a post-Marriott thing. Today four towers at Santa Clara are blue,and one is a light purple.

Steven

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that_guy
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Post by that_guy » Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:03 pm

Do you think the purple is faded blue?

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Tech Services 1
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Post by Tech Services 1 » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:49 pm

BrianPlencner wrote:Southern Cross was removed at the end of the 1982 Season. . . . I believe the towers for the ride remained for a few years after that point.
.
The first of the Southern Cross towers to come down was the one located in Yankee Harbor, just in front of the Tidal Wave entrance.

(See the pics in my first album entitled "Rides- Installations & demolitions")

They brought in a big crane, wrapped a chain around the tower near the top, held it with the crane, and literally cut the sucker off at the base with a torch. From what I can remember, they were a bit uncertain whether the chain would hold . . . :shock:
I was there with a fresh roll of film and new batteries in my camera's motor drive because, truth be told, I was kinda hoping the chain would bust and I could get a great sequence of the tower crashing down into the gift shop.
No such luck. :?
The chain held, and the tower was lowered to the ground and chopped up.
Oh well. No mayhem, but it was still cool to watch the process.

PPG
Technical Services technician
Gurnee park '81 - '86

Eegads, has it been that long?

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:53 am

Thank you for posting those interesting photos. I look forward in seeing what else you share. Thanks again. :)

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Great America Guy
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Post by Great America Guy » Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:03 am

I found a site that has tons of SFGAm pictures from 1999. On one of the Batman pages, there are a few pictures that show the Yankee Harbor tower for the Delta Flyer/Eagle's Flight still standing as of May 1st, 1999.

http://www.angelfire.com/mn/sfgam/sfgam.html

**For some reason, it wouldn't link right to the B:TR photo page, so just click Yankee Harbor, then find B:TR. It's on the 1st page of Batman photos.

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:26 pm

Good eye, I remember the towers being shortened and used for emergency lighting, but after a while I thought that they had removed all the remaining towers

This site also has a nice little quiz
http://www.angelfire.com/mn/sfgam/quiz.html
It made me think a bit, but I did get 10 out of 10 right

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that_guy
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Post by that_guy » Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:29 pm

Great eye Great America Guy! As for that Quiz i'm lost in Gurnee's post-Marriott history, I got #7-10 wrong.

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:25 am

I noticed in this photo from Tech Services 1 the Delta Flyer station can be seen boarded up. It stood this way for a year or two before it was torn down for the relocation of the Yukon Yahoo.

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/images ... 138&pos=17

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m_force_4_ever
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Post by m_force_4_ever » Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:37 pm

Im not to sure about the MGA skyrides but I know that Cedar Point still has theirs and also Santa's Village (about 45 minutes from SFGAm in Dundee, IL has one)

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:36 am

Previously in this thread there was mention of the three skyrides here in the Milwaukee area: The Summerfest grounds, The Zoo, and The Wisconsin State Fair Grounds. I went to the State Fair twice last week and took quite a few photos, including the skyride (The Sky Glider), check it out if your interested.

:arrow: http://www.pbase.com/redfishpaw/fair2006&page=all

Also see the crowd in the 1st photo
The was the 155th year of the Wisconsin State Fair
Last edited by redfishpaw on Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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