Years ago my wife worked at an amusement park. She told me about when they first put in a ride called “The Wave”. It was a roller coaster that started out horizontal and went through a 3-story loop. After that came a section where the track went nearly vertical, so your car would roll up, stop, and roll back down through the loop again, going backward to the start. There was a weight system to get the cars going, and they ran through the loop and back on momentum.
The ride arrived in pieces from its manufacturer in Germany. No one at the park could read the German assembly drawings except for a glass-blower (the kind who makes ponies and reindeer from glass tubes) who could read some German but who had no mechanics background. Eventually they managed to put the ride together. Then came many test runs with sand bags in place of passengers to get the acceleration weights dialed in. On one run the cars made it almost to the top of the loop, stopped there, and began to roll back down. The sand bags fell from the stopped cars to the bottom of the loop, thud thud thud. When the cars reached bottom they rolled through the sand bags and burst them in rapid succession. My wife never went on that ride.
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