UPDATE on monorail probe


#1

LINK: Federal investigators now reviewing corporate records as part of Disney World monorail probe - OrlandoSentinel.com

[B]Federal investigators now reviewing corporate records as part of Disney World monorail probe[/B]
Jason Garcia Sentinel Staff Writer
4:50 PM EDT, July 29, 2009

Federal investigators probing the July 5 collision on the Walt Disney World monorail said Wednesday that they have begun reviewing scores of company records, as they search for the ultimate causes of an accident that killed 21-year-old part-time monorail driver Austin Wuennenberg.

In a brief update, the National Transportation Safety Board said it has asked Disney to provide documents detailing employee training, work history and work hours, monorail standard operating procedures and mechanical and inspection history of the trains and a track-switch mechanism.

It is the first official indication of the areas investigators are searching as they seek to determine whether factors beyond human error contributed to the first fatal crash in the 38-year history of Disney World’s monorail.

The accident occurred as workers were attempting to transfer a train off the monorail’s Epcot loop so it could go out of service for the night. People familiar with the investigation say a worker mistakenly radioed that he had activated a track switch that would have allowed the train to reverse off the Epcot beam and onto a spur leading away from the main track; the train instead wound up backing down the Epcot beam and into a train piloted by Wuennenberg.

No one else was hurt in the 2 a.m. collision.

The NTSB says Disney World has so far provided most of the records it has requested. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Transportation Communications Union, which represents monorail workers, are also involved in the investigation.

Investigators completed the on-scene portion of their investigation, including train and track-switch testing, on July 9. They have also completed interviews with all of the key employees involved.


#2

Not sure what to say here, but I’d like to keep this bumped near the top.
To me, I’m not so sure this has as much to do with training, etc, as it does with it being a combination of laxness on the part of supervisory staff coupled with inattention of the pilot backing his train not to notice he hadn’t changed changed beams and stopping as soon as he came back off the switch. And maybe fatigue on the part of the backing pilot also played a part.


#3

Disney monorail accident: Driver of train that hit, killed Wuennenberg so distraught he is under a doctor’s care - OrlandoSentinel.com

Pickering said his friend was following instructions when the crash occurred.

“Alan was merely following the radio instructions that he received just like we receive every night,” he said. “We don’t do anything with that monorail that we don’t receive instructions.”


Ex-Pilot: Disney Monorail Boss Routinely Off Site - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

This is the part that really gets me mad.


#4

errors happen and in my estimation once again human error…either distracted or just didn’t make visual contact of the switch…but given disney’s safety record …I am not afraid to get on a monrail at anytime


#5

More food for thought:

Disney Monorail Crash: Disney’s monorail procedures changed in years leading up to accident - OrlandoSentinel.com

I hadn’t seen this article until just now.


#6

38 years w/out an incident could lead to complacency.


#7

My heart goes out to Mr. Rubino. I can’t begin to imagine what he must be going through. :crying:


#8

I agree.

That won’t be the case anymore though, so I have no fear of getting back on either.

(btw Boss, LOVE the new avatar!!! :wub: What a GREAT picture!)


#9

[QUOTE=ddoll;981296]

(btw Boss, LOVE the new avatar!!! :wub: What a GREAT picture!)[/QUOTE]

Thank you, my dear. It is from our photo shoot session at the GF. We have it blown up and framed, hanging in the dining room.


#10

Does anyone know if the main console is manned at all times. If I understand correctly, the trains are controlled by computer with little human interaction.


#11

i agree that it’s human error. accidents do happen. it’s such a sad situation for all involved. i’ve already been on the monorail since it happened and didn’t even really think about it really.


#12

So, when swapping out the monorail, there is verbal communication and visual confirmation? Was that a step that was missed? Once the swap begins how are the cars accounted for?


#13

[QUOTE=Soundgod;981225]Disney monorail accident: Driver of train that hit, killed Wuennenberg so distraught he is under a doctor’s care - OrlandoSentinel.com

Pickering said his friend was following instructions when the crash occurred.

“Alan was merely following the radio instructions that he received just like we receive every night,” he said. “We don’t do anything with that monorail that we don’t receive instructions.”


Ex-Pilot: Disney Monorail Boss Routinely Off Site - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

This is the part that really gets me mad.[/QUOTE]

The second story annoys me. Sounds like that “supervisor” if you want to call him that, should be held responsible if that story is true.


#14

it’s a case by case thing. i haven’t read the details on the situation, but if the supervisor did tell them something wrong and they knew it wasn’t right, then yeah they should be partially responsible. IMO though. it’s really hard because as a supervisor i tell my crew on something DO NOT DEVIATE and then that weird circumstance comes where they may need to do something i didn’t tell them to do and they end up clueless and frustrated because they are trying to follow my direction so they don’t get in trouble. know what i mean?

wow i’m rambling…


#15

Well, thats where training comes into play and having people that are capable of performing under pressure, using good judgement, hypothesis generation and hypothesis evaluation.


#16

[QUOTE=nubeanie;997459]it’s a case by case thing. i haven’t read the details on the situation, but if the supervisor did tell them something wrong and they knew it wasn’t right, then yeah they should be partially responsible. IMO though. it’s really hard because as a supervisor i tell my crew on something DO NOT DEVIATE and then that weird circumstance comes where they may need to do something i didn’t tell them to do and they end up clueless and frustrated because they are trying to follow my direction so they don’t get in trouble. know what i mean?

wow i’m rambling…[/QUOTE]

Yes, I am a manager of two stores and know exactly what you mean. My opinion was based off the supervisor was actually giving these kinds of instructions from a place not any where near the monorail tracks like a restaurant.


#17

There are just so many things wrong with the whole situation.
I was just recently talking with DH’s uncle who was once a monorail operator (retired from disney) and he still has his people that he keeps in touch with. He said that there were sooooo many things not right…a supervisor left early, left someone else in charge (who didnt know what they were doing:ohmy:) the backing up monorail should have looked, the tracks should have been switched…etc etc etc.


#18

[QUOTE=tinkfans;997480]There are just so many things wrong with the whole situation.
I was just recently talking with DH’s uncle who was once a monorail operator (retired from disney) and he still has his people that he keeps in touch with. He said that there were sooooo many things not right…a supervisor left early, left someone else in charge (who didnt know what they were doing:ohmy:) the backing up monorail should have looked, the tracks should have been switched…etc etc etc.[/QUOTE]

Sounds like no one person was truely responsible. Just a horrible accident and people taking what has worked without flaw for 38 years for granted.


#19

that would be crazy if that were true. that would be like a control tower operator landing planes at home on his computer :eek::eek:


#20

My thoughts exactly! Can you imagine??