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  1. #1

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    Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigation

    Disney World monorail crash: Family from cherishes memories of their recent monorail ride with pilot Austin Wuennenberg - OrlandoSentinel.com

    A family made a video of their conversation with Austin. At the 40 sec mark, the pilot told them that he could not see behind the monorail. The poor guy seemed like a highly dedicated and friendly cast member.

    The National Transportation Safety Board has opted to take part in the investigation as to the cause of the accident. The federal agency normally conducts analytical reviews of airline incidents.
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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Were they requested to take part in the investigation or have they decided to just stick their nose in. I know this is a horrible tragedy and something you don't want to occur, but these things have been carrying passengers safely for 30 some odd years. I know there's been a death where someone tried to jump onto the beam or something, but other than that or this those are the only deaths I know of from this transportation. That's a fairly good number compared to all other forms of transportation.

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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Quote Originally Posted by kcnole View Post
    Were they requested to take part in the investigation or have they decided to just stick their nose in
    They opt'd to jump in. It's a private transport system and not regulated like commuter trains, etc. That's kind of the oddity on it, one article I read said this is the first time they've gotten involved with any fully private system.

    The state equivalents of OSHA are normally the ones who be doing any oversight. Here, NSTB has also jumped in to take a look.
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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    The claimed jurisdiction because the monorails are used to transport the "public" (aka WDW guests).

  5. #5

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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Quote Originally Posted by kcnole View Post
    Were they requested to take part in the investigation or have they decided to just stick their nose in. I know this is a horrible tragedy and something you don't want to occur, but these things have been carrying passengers safely for 30 some odd years. I know there's been a death where someone tried to jump onto the beam or something, but other than that or this those are the only deaths I know of from this transportation. That's a fairly good number compared to all other forms of transportation.
    It is highly regretful that this crash mars the perfect record disney parks have enjoyed where fatal monorail crashes are concerned. Still, Disney will likely take measures to ensure that we will never again see such an incident in our lifetimes.

    Although the NTSB voluntarily opted to investigate...I have more confidence in them over CAL-OSHA to do a thorough job in determining the factor(s) at fault.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 07-08-2009 at 07:17 PM.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    They opt'd to jump in. It's a private transport system and not regulated like commuter trains, etc. That's kind of the oddity on it, one article I read said this is the first time they've gotten involved with any fully private system.

    The state equivalents of OSHA are normally the ones who be doing any oversight. Here, NSTB has also jumped in to take a look.
    Thanks flynn for your insightful revealing of the facts concerning the investigation.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    The claimed jurisdiction because the monorails are used to transport the "public" (aka WDW guests).
    This is a big part of it...and a welcome one at that as far as I'm concerned.
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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    The WDW monorails were manufactured by the same Canadian company that screwed up the Disneyland monorails. Wonder if the design flaws of the monorails contributed to the accident?
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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    There was no problem with the monorails that caused this. All indicators show that it was human error only.

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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Quote Originally Posted by kcnole View Post
    There was no problem with the monorails that caused this. All indicators show that it was human error only.
    If this is the case, it's a wonder that there hasn't been accidents of this caliber in the past. Beyond additional training, wonder if safeguards can be instituted in order to ensure that this never happens again.
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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    I think Disney should stop passengers from riding with the pilot immediately. I'm wonderinig, seeing how chatty he is with the guests, if that could have been a contributing factor in the accident.

  11. #11

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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    DisneyIPresume, as far as I see in all sources here he was not at fault here, at most it was a series of events that precipitated this tragedy. Just a domino effect of possible exhaustion, pilot error, sensor faults, and miscommunication of those in dispatch.

    Austin seemed to me in this video to exemplify perfect customer service and a love for his job while making it a great experience for the family traveling with him in the video. We may not know what he might have been doing as the other Monorail backed into his, but I don't think that he could be faulted for the accident.

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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Quote Originally Posted by tuxhero View Post
    DisneyIPresume, as far as I see in all sources here he was not at fault here, at most it was a series of events that precipitated this tragedy. Just a domino effect of possible exhaustion, pilot error, sensor faults, and miscommunication of those in dispatch.

    Austin seemed to me in this video to exemplify perfect customer service and a love for his job while making it a great experience for the family traveling with him in the video. We may not know what he might have been doing as the other Monorail backed into his, but I don't think that he could be faulted for the accident.
    That is good to hear.

    I think all CMs should be friendly like him. I just thought maybe he might have been distracted a bit. And those windows were all fogged up too, which could have contributed, plus the fact that he said he couldn't see behind him. It was probably the perfect storm where lots of little things added up to a tragic end. How sad.

  13. #13

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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Thanks for posting that link RW. What a wonderful tribute to this castmember who clearly enjoyed his job and seems to exemplify Disney's service standards.


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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    That is good to hear.

    I think all CMs should be friendly like him. I just thought maybe he might have been distracted a bit. And those windows were all fogged up too, which could have contributed, plus the fact that he said he couldn't see behind him. It was probably the perfect storm where lots of little things added up to a tragic end. How sad.
    One can only hope that all CMs will follow Austin's example as a friendly, entertaining and knowledgeable pilot. This is his legacy. I can't help but shout out to his spirit, we love you Austin as you served Disney and it's guests in a fashion that made you worth your wait in gold!

    I agree that the investigation will reveal that several factors beyond this young man's control was at fault...even if he might have made a contributing mistake.
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    Re: Footage of Austin Wuennenberg, the Ill-Fated Monorail Pilot / New NTSB Investigat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    The WDW monorails were manufactured by the same Canadian company that screwed up the Disneyland monorails. Wonder if the design flaws of the monorails contributed to the accident?
    Bombardier has had absolutely nothing to do with the Disneyland Monorail.

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