I’m an optimist and was quite surprised to find out that Ferris Wheels actually break down ! It’s amazing what one learns at the gym while working out.
The “Great Wheel” in London broke for four hours and people were freezing in the cold London evening. It was so cold they took down the fancy drapes.
The interesting business lesson is, the very next day, 11,000 visitors were waiting in line to get back in. The trick was that the owner gave out five pounds to each passenger who was stuck on the wheel. What a great marketing turnover. According to http://www.measuringworth.com/ these five pounds are worth today£430.28 using the retail price index, or £2,404.60 using average earnings index.
And if you think the modern wheels are safer, you should read about the “Singapore Flyer“, the world tallest Ferris wheel, just relaunched.
On 23 December 2008, the wheel stopped moving and trapped 173 passengers for about six hours. The breakdown was caused by a short-circuit and fire in the Flyer’s wheel control room, which cut off the air-conditioning in the wheel. Eleven passengers were evacuated via a sling-like device from a few of the capsules, and those stranded were given food and drink. The wheel restarted nearly seven hours after it had stopped and two people were hospitalized. The Flier was closed indefinitely and an investigation into the cause of the malfunction was launched.