TheĀ Flight Deck

Iron Maiden Flies High

celebrities who fly Aug 30, 2023

Diehard heavy metal music fans know Bruce Dickinson as the iconic front man of British band Iron Maiden. Since joining the band in 1981, his powerful voice and dynamic stage presence have helped to propel Iron Maiden’s success.

What isn’t as well known is that Bruce became a licensed commercial airline pilot in the 1990s, flying the band around the world since 2008 on a chartered plane dubbed “Ed Force One.” He has flown as a commercial pilot for British World Airlines, Astraeus Airlines, and is the director of Caedav, previously named Cardiff Aviation, which is thriving and expanding.

Bruce first became fascinated by aviation after hearing stories from his godfather, John Booker, a Royal Air Force pilot who served during World War II. Those stories fueled his desire to learn how to fly while simultaneously learning the physics and mechanics behind flight. “I always thought I was too stupid. I was useless at maths and majored in history at university,” Bruce said. “And then our drummer learned to fly, so I said, ‘If a drummer can learn to fly then anyone can.’ ”

While his career in Iron Maiden gave Bruce the means to pursue his passion of flying and to train as a pilot, his newfound love of flying played a part in his music career as well. He has written about his experiences in both industries in his autobiography, “What Does This Button Do?” Bruce also penned the lyrics for the 2010 track “Coming Home,” inspired by long-distance journeys as seen from the cockpit.

Although Bruce no longer retains his commercial pilot’s license, he remains a keen pilot and has part ownership of a Bulldog trainer. No matter whether he is pursuing music or flight, Bruce will continue to fly high for years to come.

*Photo credits: Banner image - Inset image - By Scott Penner - originally posted to Flickr as Iron Maiden @ Bluesfest July 6 2010, CC BY-SA 2.0, 

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