Monday, June 27, 2011
Fly to Live: Aboard Iron Maiden's Ed Force One
Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson has been flying jets for 10 years. Last week, I joined him on the Iron Maiden plane -- the infamous 'Ed Force One' -- on a flight for Iceland Express from Newark to Reykjavik. (The budget airline is expanding its North American routes, with Iceland-bound flights from Boston, Chicago, Newark and Winnipeg).
Bruce is a great guy, offering me jet views from the cockpit and the Iceland tarmac. He told me flying is a 'huge privilege,' like a 'miracld,' even a 'spiritual' experience when you get to hover over 'the earth's shadow.' That's why he keeps this part-time job, as a CAPTAIN pilot, amidst a summer Iron Maiden tour (after Iceland, he was jetting to Basel via London for a Maiden show -- in different attire, no doubt).
Ed Force One, as seen in the super Maiden documentary Flight 666, is 'a bit of a superstar,' to Dickinson. (Actually it's a bit dated, but fine to fly.)
I had fun watching boarding passengers in the terminal gawk at the plane out the window. 'Ohh, we're getting the Iron Maiden plane!,' I heard one voice, turning to find a 50-something New Jersey mom. 'What's the singer/pilot's name again?' Her daughter coolly answered, 'Bruce something.' I gave them the full name. 'Oh I hope he's flying today!'
I'll have more of my interview with Bruce soon, but thought I'd share some photos.