The wild nature of heavy metal music and the structured environment of the cockpit appear to be such polar opposites that they would be nearly impossible to combine. Yet Iron Maiden’s singer Bruce Dickinson has done just that. An accomplished pilot, Dickinson has personally flown the English band and its equipment around the world on tour, at times on an Iron Maiden-branded Boeing 757 called “Ed Force One” (after the band’s red-eyed, monster mascot), owned by British airline Astraeus, which ceased operations last year.
When not on tour, Dickinson has taken a second job as an airline pilot, all for the love of flying. His passion for aviation also crosses over to small airplanes. Many years ago, I personally had the pleasure of experiencing my very first spin in a Decathlon with Dickinson at the controls.
This year Dickinson has entered a new heavy metal adventure. He launched Cardiff Aviation Limited, which has taken 132,000 square feet of hangar space at the St Athan Enterprise Zone at the St Athan-Cardiff Airport in South Wales. The company will provide aircraft maintenance as well as technical and flight training for airplanes as large as the Boeing 767. Dickinson hopes his company will employ 1,000 workers by the end of next year. Dickinson recently visited Boeing’s training facility in Seattle to learn more about the company’s latest technology. See a video of his visit below.