Have you ever seen or experienced a Sky Trail® aerial attraction and thought, “Wow, I wish I could be the one to operate it.”? Well, with the right training and attention paid to the entire process of becoming certified, you actually can become an Operator, assuming of course you work at a location possessing a Sky Trail®.
To give you a glimpse into what the requirements or expectations are, we’ve laid out a few frequently asked questions for you to read through so you can see a bit of what goes into training Operators!
How old do you have to be if you want to become an Operator?
All Operator trainees must be at least 17 years old if they would like to pursue certification.
Typically how long are the training sessions?
The entirety of training spans across 2 days with each day involving 8 hours of instruction. Each trainee must be present for 100% of training and is likely to not become certified if time is missed.
So all you have to do is attend a training session and you’re good to go?
Not quite. Both written and practical testing is required to successfully complete the training. The practical portion must actually be completed before an online test, conducted through LearnUpon, is taken. Each trainee will have two chances to pass the test and must do so with a grade of 80% or higher. Depending on location specifics (Sky Rail™, Sky Tykes®, etc.), other tests may be required.
Are there any physical requirements?
Anyone wanting to become an Operator must be willing to work at heights of 15’ (4.6 m) or more and be fully capable of bending, stooping, climbing and standing for extended periods of time.
What are the golden rules of training that Operators should understand?
There are three main rules that any Operator trainee should remember and fully understand when doing their job with participants:
- No one is allowed to harness themselves
- No one is allowed to load themselves onto the attraction
- Everyone must undergo a Pre-Flight Check before climbing
What does a Pre-Flight Check involve?
A Pre-Flight Check is performed before the participant is allowed on the attraction and is very important with regards to participant safety. During such check, the fit of the harness is made sure to be correct, both carabiners are squeeze checked and participant rules are reviewed out loud which include:
- Empty pockets
- No running, jumping, swinging
- One person at a time on an element
- Hands out of overhead track
- Slingline in front and between shoulders
What does an Operator have to do while on the attraction?
Well, an Operator has a few duties while they are stationed on the attraction itself. Those generally include Operators staying within 1 level of participants, making sure participants are behaving and no one is exhibiting unruly behavior and being available to assist any participant who needs help.
Any other additional duties an Operator needs to be aware of?
Yes. Operators need to also:
- Open and close the attraction
- Perform Daily Checklists
- Store equipment properly
- Understand the Emergency Action Plan and contact local authorities when needed
- Be knowledgeable of all weather procedures
- Contact the manufacturer if needed
There you have it! A quick overview of what an Operator is instructed to do while on a Sky Trail®, when they are with participants and what must be done to achieve certification. Of course there is much more involved but we hope this at least gives you insight into what a trainee learns!