Home Forums Autocross / Solo 2 JA Accident (fatality)

This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Alan Sheidler 4 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #30802

    Robbie Nelson
    Participant

    http://www.scca.com/news/index.cfm?cid=51950

    My condolences to the Eaddy family. I can’t imagine what they are going through.

    There is a big thread at roadraceautox.com regarding the accident. It’s filled with lots of kart hate. As a KM driver and JB parent, I’m curious what the kart guys think about the accident.

    Here’s my thoughts:
    – shutdown area was huge; ~260 feet
    – accounts say she didn’t react after the finish
    – From videos I’ve seen, there seems to have been plenty of room between pylons to turn away from the fence/cable

    Question:
    – Can the brakes on a JA kart overpower the engine? I plan to test this on our JB World Formula kart, but I haven’t had the chance yet.
    – Is this the beginning of the end of the junior program?

    Robbie Nelson

  • #30810

    Scott Boito
    Participant

    There is already a fair amount of kart-hate in SCCA, so this tragic incident may continue to pile on that hate. But honestly, according to the credible descriptions I’ve read from people who were onsite, the reactions are pushing knee-jerk territory.

    Several letters have been submitted asking for the mandatory inclusion of a panic shutdown switch on all junior karts. Immediately. An on/off switch is a good idea, I think, but I don’t believe this incident warrants an immediate implementation of such a rule-change. Maybe for next year once we can identify reliable switches for all of our approved motors.

    I would hope that people would wait for the results of the causal investigations being conducted before demanding changes. We cannot fix something if we don’t know how/what happened.

    What can come from this is better involvement of the responsible Junior Steward at ALL events where juniors are running. This may mean the Jr Stewards taking active roles in teching the karts, providing instruction in panic situations, etc., in addition to asking the kids to demonstrate how to shut off their motor. I’m ALL for that.

  • #30814

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    It seems that more regulation is needed to help with the karting program in SCCA. I’d like to hear more about how and what cause the accident. If brakes were an issue, that would need to be reviewed. Also, and only because I am not familiar with the standards of SCCA solo events, is that all karts should have a cut-off switch to kill the power of the engine.

    EKN would like to send our thoughts with the family and friends.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #31262

    Alan Sheidler
    Participant

    Robbie asks:

    Question:
    – Can the brakes on a JA kart overpower the engine? I plan to test this on our JB World Formula kart, but I haven’t had the chance yet.
    – Is this the beginning of the end of the junior program?

     

    They certainly should be able to.  My first year in a shifter, the throttle stuck wide open in 3rd gear, and I went off of a track (not at an AX) into the grass.  The front brakes would then have a negligible effect on slowing the rotation of the rear axle.  The rear brake was enough to stop the engine.

    I hope not.  This is not a small part of the SCCA anymore.  Taking it away would be in all likelihood a second and unnecessary blow to the Eaddy family.

    That is not to say that like all misfortunes, there is not something to be learned.   I’d expect some new and specific requirements will likely for J drivers, their parents, and for Youth Stewards.

    Edit: As of yet I have not gotten any indication regarding the investigation of the cause of this tragedy.  From what I have been led to understand, there will likely be both primary and contributing causes.  It is fairly certain that a stuck throttle was not an issue in this circumstance.  I for one hope that someone who knows karts and has a keen eye for problems had a chance to look at it, before anyone altered it in any way.

    In any case, don’t believe what scuttlebutt may indicate.  We should all wait for official answers to all of the questions.

  • #31284

    Scott Newton
    Participant

    While this incident is certainly a trigger to review safety measures – I hope they aren’t isolated to just Junior Karts (as they were in the email that the national office sent out a few days ago).  Things like stuck throttles and failed brakes can, and do, happen in any class – and with just as much (if not more) potential for serious injury.  As bad as a fatality from a mechanical failure in an FJ is… a 3000# car with a stuck throttle plowing into a crowded paddock could be much worse.

    Also what would be much more useful than just a generic “check everything” reminder, would be some specific and detailed guides of what has gone wrong in the past, so we know what to look for in the future.

  • #31285

    Robbie Nelson
    Participant

    (as they were in the email that the national office sent out a few days ago)

    Can you elaborate? PM me if you would prefer. I’m a concerned JB parent.

    Robbie Nelson

  • #31436

    Alan Sheidler
    Participant

    FROM: SCCA National Office

    TO: All Solo Participants

    SUBJECT: Kart Safety

    SCCA wishes to remind all kart owners and drivers to ensure that their vehicle’s control parts, including, but not limited to, those relating to throttle and brake pedal assembly function (including extensions) and safeguards such as throttle return springs, etc., are in good working order without the potential to perform unintended functions.

     

    So, that was meant for ALL karts, not just the FJ’s.

     

    Years without (avoidable) mechanical failures leading to a problem at an event means that complacency sets in.  And tech inspection becomes less complete, and less effective overall.

    When I was a regular tech guy at regional events, one of the things I did was a “stomp test” on the brake pedal.    I never burst a line, but a guy who I had trained did…  Better in tech than on course, or  on the street somewhere!

  • #31669

    William Loring
    Participant

    I’ve not been able to find the thread over at http://www.roadraceautox.com

    Can anyone direct me to it?

    Of course I can’t even get registered over there, because I can’t seem to figure out their “Bot detection” question. So what do I know?

    Also, I hope any changes are reasonable and well thought out. I’d be all in favor of a cutoff switch, even if that wasn’t a problem in this particular situation. And I don’t have a problem with more rigorous tech inspection either.

    I’m in the process of building a JA kart for my son. Hope to have it done within the next several weeks.

  • #31724

    Alan Sheidler
    Participant

    That thread has apparently been deleted.  I could not find it either when I tried last week.

    As far as getting past the registration question, the answer appears to be ”   both   “.

    I sent an email to the admin about that stupid system, suggesting that the registration section be listed as “gimmickrally.com” instead of roadraceautocross.  Never got a reply  Come to think of it, I’m not sure that I am yet registered for the site, I did not get a confirmation, and I have not been back to try logging on.

    From what I can gather, some changes in procedures and tech, and allowable devices may be in the pipeline.  We will all be paying attention.

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