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The canopies on this thing were janky. Eventually they were removed. Not sure I rode it after they went open-top.

The joystick for roll control was this odd stubby little cube-shaped thing mounted on what one might call the console, between the side-by-side seats. Little horsecollars came down as part of the restraint system. Adorable.

I was annoyed by the realization that the tub always righted itself: if you held the stick to one side long enough for the tub to slowly roll beyond 180 degrees, and then let go, it would continue rolling upright in that direction. If you let go before reaching fully upside-down, the tub would reverse its roll and right itself that way. I really wanted to hang upside- down or in a quarter-turn, but it didn’t seem to let the rider do that.

My brother and I fought for control of the thing in mid-flight. Never ride with a sibling!

None of these rides remain anywhere in the world, right? There are some great accounts of what a maintenance nightmare they were.
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None of these rides remain anywhere in the world, right? There are some great accounts of what a maintenance nightmare they were.

Nope they’re all gone. This was an Intamin Flight Trainer ride. My friend was a ride-op on this back in 89 and 90 and he said there were always mechanical problems with it.
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I believe they were removed after the incident at Kings Island due to a critical design flaw in the restraint.

They were not immediately removed. This incident happened in 1991. Flight Commander at KI closed in 1995 and Sky Pilot at KD closed in 1998. I believe the one at KBF closed in 96 or 97.
Even though I’ve seen this ride in pictures and videos for years, I still have trouble understanding what the experience was really like. Was this thing sort of a primitive version of a Zamperla Air Race?
If you've seen the Kings Island Sky Commander video, then you've seen all there is to see about the ride dynamics.

The experience was ... that. Except as seen from the inside of the ride vehicle.

There was a minor thrill associated with being upside-down 60 feet in the air, or whatever height the vehicle actually reached. It was somewhat tempered by being RIGHT behind the tub in front of you, and by the stuff mentioned earlier in the thread (control stick, roll behavior, goofy restraints).

I should be a bit more kind: hanging upside-down without the benefit of centripetal acceleration to pin you to your seat (or it to you, depending on your frame of reference) was more of a novelty in the 1980s. Fewer ride systems did that then than do now, though KD visitors at the time could get that fix via either Sky Pilot or Berserker. Such a painful multitude of riches.

Air Race mechanics are notably different, and IMO can be more intense.
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