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April 27, 2014

Flying Turns POV

ELYSBURG — I’ve always wanted to fly.

And really, if I could guess what that feeling is like, I imagine it’s something like riding Knoebels Amusement Park’s newest attraction, which is aptly named the Flying Turns.

Everyone’s been talking about it for eight years now, ever since park officials starting building it in the middle of the park.

“When’s it going to be done?” people asked.

Well, stop asking. It’s done. And it’s fun. I would know, I rode it Saturday on the opening day of the 2014 season.

Just don’t expect a thrill ride. That’s not what this baby is. It’s an old-timey bobsled coaster — a classic popular in the 1930s, I’m told. It tops out at 27 mph and the highest hill is just under 50 feet (StratosFear is 148 feet high, the tallest hill of the Twister is 101 feet high, the Giant Wheel is 110 feet high, the Phoenix’s tallest hill is 78 feet).

It’s all wooden. And it features a halfpipe-style structure with no car track, so that the ride’s cars move freely along the 1,300 feet of the ride like a bobsled.

And it’s the only of its kind in the world, which is pretty cool.

The ride starts off up a small lift hill. It’s a bit slow at first when it drops you into the trough, but as soon as you hit the first turn, it’s your first taste of flying, and you’ll want more.

Don’t worry. You’ll get it.

The second lift hill takes you to the top of the apex of the adventure, where it drops you again into what is called a double helix. You’ll “free wheel” through two 270-degree turns.

And it feels like you’re riding on air with each change in direction. For a moment, you’re free.

Overall, the nearly two-minute ride is smooth, and twisty, and fun.

At the platform’s exit, the Knoebels crew put up a sign that reads, “Thank you for flying with us.”

No, Knoebels, thank you for giving me an opportunity to fly.

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