Using a Crane to Flip an AirCraft

Here at McIntyre Crane & Rigging, we provide just about any hoisting service, from small HVAC lifts with our 30-ton cranes to large tandem lifts with our 130 and 200-ton cranes. One of the most rewarding parts of working in the crane and rigging industry is the variety of unique jobs we encounter.

Two McIntyre Cranes hoisting an aircraft

On Wednesday, September 13th, at around 5:30 p.m., we received a call about a flipped-over plane on a runway at the Springbank Airport just west of Calgary, Alberta. Dispatch and management made a lift plan and deemed our two 30-ton cranes capable of this job. One crane was our Manitex 30102C, which Nate Tobin operated. The second crane was a Manitex 30100C operated by Kirean Bibo (Beebs). Both operators have worked many hours with these cranes in different scenarios. This project was supervised by our friends at Rangeland Truck & Crane.

When our crane operators reached the site, they were quickly escorted to the runway. The front portion of the plane had sustained heavy damage, but the fire department had taken care of any potential leaks, and the aircraft was deemed safe to lift. Our crew ran through the game plan with all parties present and began the lift. Just on the runway’s edge was a vacant parking lot where a small crowd began to form. Word travels fast, and these people likely wanted to look before driving home; our crew gave them quite a show.

Time was limited, and the crew wanted to get off the runway before dark. Beebs had his hook attached near the wings, while Nate had his hook attached to the plane’s tail. Beebs came up on the line until the plane was high enough for Nate to detach his hook. The crew at Rangeland Truck & Crane turned the plane around so Nate could reattach his hook closer to the wing. Nate came up on line, and Beebs slowly lowered his. Once the plane had its wheels facing down, Nate and Beebs could slowly place it back on the runway. The plane was successfully flipped! Our crew cleaned up, handed the remaining tasks over to the airport crew, and were escorted back to the airport’s gates, where they filled out the required paperwork and recapped the lift before returning to our yard.

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This lift was a good example of what our cranes and crew can do, management’s ability to plan a lift on short notice, and McIntyre’s skill in providing crane services no matter the location! Click on the video below to see us execute this lift in real time. Contact McIntyre Crane & Rigging today to see how we can help you with your hoisting needs!