Ride at Jacksonville Fair that injured children in 2018 was ‘counterfeit', inspector says

Jacksonville Fair safety inspection

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An Action News Jax investigation has learned that a ride that injured people at last year fair in Jacksonville won't be back this year. The Sky Flyer ride injured several children in 2018.

Today, Action News Jax investigator Ryan Nelson joined inspector Mark Gonzalez with the Florida Department of Agriculture. The agency is inspecting every ride at the fair.

"We go with the manufacturer's manuals. We get our information on how, what their guidelines are," said Gonzalez, describing the process of inspecting rides.

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Investigators found that the attendant for the Sky Flyer, operated by Midway Rides of Utica, N.Y., wasn't paying attention as the ride was lowered.

Gonzalez told Action News Jax that inspectors also encountered a problem in confirming the authenticity of the ride, saying the Sky Flyer was a counterfeit bearing a fake "AK Rides" manufacturer ID plate.

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"That ride is actually not allowed to operate in the state of Florida until the manufacturer actually claims it as their ride," said Gonzalez.

The inspector checked track braces and connections to ensure that rides are operating properly, before moving on to the ride cars. There he checked for sharp edges and pinch points.

This morning, Gonzalez said he'd found only minor issues that were fixed on the spot.

He has the power to shut down any rides that could put your family in danger.

"If we find a device having an issue that cannot be repaired in a timely manner while we're here, we'll issue a stop operation order which comes in the form of a red tag," said Gonzalez.

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