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In a Downtown Dallas Project MEI Gives Lift with a Helicopter

NOVEMBER 30, 2016, DALLAS, TX --

The Helicopter overhead in SE Dallas early morning last Saturday wasn’t the local traffic reporters. Instead, it was the installation of data equipment at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in West Downtown Dallas. MEI Rigging & Crating used a helicopter, 3 forklifts, and a small mobile crane to complete the move in less than 1 hour In that hour, they moved about 25,000 pounds of electrical switchgear up 9 stories into very tight spaces, culminating 3 months of preparation with their downtown client.

Most projects in a downtown area have buildings spaced out far enough to use a crane, but in West downtown Dallas, the spaces were so tight, MEI substituted a helicopter for traditional crane rigging. The helicopter never touched the ground, using a 3 story parking structure as a temporary helipad. The operation was schedule for Friday overnight into early Saturday morning so as to not disrupt neighboring businesses. As the electrical switchgear equipment was lifted by helicopter and fitted into place, the client’s operation was still running, requiring shutting down only one line at a time. Precision timing and placement was critical.

The project involved a large volume electric gear, ranging from under a 1000 pounds to over 23,000 pounds, was completed without any disruption, whatsoever, in business for the client. Each piece of electrical switchgear equipment took less than a minute to move by helicopter as all the equipment had been pre-rigged for flight. 

“Certainly using a helicopter as an air crane cut our rigging time in half,” says Chuck Lane, MEI Rigging & Crating Dallas Sales Manager, “but the excitement was simply just the payoff from 3 months of planning and a well executed project.”

MEI also provided storage and transportation services coupled with overall advice to the client team on how to best facilitate each phase of this moving project to maximize the clients budget.

What Customers Say

"MEI's Team performed in a safe, professional, and outstanding manner." "… the job was completed above my expectations and faster than I thought possible. At all times they were neat and worked safely. I was very impressed with the crew. They acted as one team and displayed very professional attitudes the entire time."

helicopter rigging Fact Sheet

Full Name: Lew Sterrett Justice Center Electrical Switch Gear Move
Length of Project: 3 Months 
Tools/Equipment Used: 1 Helicopter, 3 Forklifts, 1 small mobile crane
What was moved: Electrical Switch Gear ranging from 1,000 to 23,000 Pounds
Move Location: West Downtown Dallas
Distance Moved: 9 Stories Up


There are six detention facilities within the Dallas County Sheriff's Department. These facilities can house more than 7,100 inmates with a detention staff of 900 employees. The Dallas County detention facilities are self sufficient and operate 24-hours a day 365 days a year.

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