New State Fair Flyer offers 'one heck of a view'
Posted September 15
Updated October 13
Raleigh, N.C. — The gates open on the first full day of the State Fair in exactly one month and this year, one of the rides will serve the very practical purpose of moving people from one side of the fairgrounds to the other.
The State Fair Flyer is a permanent attraction and, at 40 feet high, will be a new way for people to see the fair.
The sky lift has 126 seats that hang from a cable that stretches more than 1,400 feet across the fairgrounds.
American Sky Lifts, based in Sanford, owns and built the massive machine at a cost of $1 million dollars. Construction on the attraction began in early June and was moved to the fairgrounds Thursday.
State inspectors looked at safety systems in case of power loss or cable derailment and checked every nut and bolt on the ride Thursday afternoon.
"It is all build around public safety. It has redundant circuits to cover everything on it," said inspector Tommy Petty. "Anything we inspect, if we put our certificate on it, it's safe. I would ride myself, I would ride my children and grandchildren."
Petty, the Deputy Chief of the Elevators and Amusements Bureau, inspects chair lifts across the state- usually in the mountains at ski areas. One of the perks of being the inspector is that he is one of the few who have had an opportunity to ride the State Fair Flyer.
“It’s nice; it’s up in the air pretty good and during the day it is going to be a nice view but at night, with all the lights on the rides and everything, it will be one heck of a view,” he said.
A one-way trip on the State Fair Flyer will cost $5 and a round-trip ride will cost $8. The ride moves at 2 mph and has a lap restraint to keep passengers in their seat.
American Sky Lifts has a 10-year lease to have the lift on the fairgrounds and there is an option for a 10-year renewal.