Iron Maiden's Dickinson Forced Landing

  • Aug 12, 2015 5:37am GMT

Metal band Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson was forced to land his World War I replica "with potentially low fuel" at RAF Halton.

The singer, 57, is an experienced pilot and is being applauded for his quick decision. “We applaud Bruce Dickinson’s decision to divert to RAF Halton rather than press to his destination with potentially low fuel,” squadron leader Gary Coleman told the media. “To see such a well-regarded pilot, and world-renowned rock singer, make this decision is great for our student pilots to see. It makes them realize that anyone can find themselves low on fuel due to unforeseen circumstances and that the right decision is to divert,” he added. RAF Halton provided Dickinson with enough fuel to see him on his way when the weather improved.

To make it easier to divert in the U.K. Charles Strasser, the vice president of the Aircraft Operators and Pilots Association (AOPA), set up the Strasser Scheme several years ago allowing any aircraft in a real emergency to divert with no extra charge. 99% of the UK's airfields are signed up including those operated by the military. A review of fatal accidents in general aviation, published in 1997, concluded that the costs incurred by a pilot in case of a diversion were a contributing factor in their decision to continue a flight despite safety concerns. The landing fees for a light aircraft can be as high as £500 (790 USD) there, and were typically payable in full regardless of the circumstances of the landing prior to the adoption of the scheme.

RAF Halton is the oldest flying establishment still left in RAF service. Dating back to 1913 the airfield was used in the 2006 movie 'Flyboys' starring James Franco and Jean Reno and a fitting place for Dickinson to land. He was flying his replica Fokker Dr1 triplane at the time.

Dickinson holds an Air Transport Pilots' Licence with about 7,000 flying hours, some of it logged flying the band around while on tour. (see photos below) When he's not singing for Iron Maiden, he is a commercial pilot with over 7000 hours and is qualified to fly Boeing 757s as well as 737s. He also manages Air Djibouti, the national carrier of Djibouti, which was relaunched recently after going bankrupt in 2002.

Watch him fly a DC-4 and the Bombardier/Canadair CL-215 Water Bomber from the TV Series "Ice Pilots" in the videos below.

VIDEO 1: by Fish Griwkowsky. Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, an avid pilot, pays a visit to the Ice Pilots NWT based in Yellowknife. Founded by Buffalo Joe McBryan, the company uses vintage planes in one of the last remaining frontiers in North America. The Edmonton Journal's Sandra Sperounes and Fish Griwkowsky were asked along to document this once-in-a-lifetime meeting.

VIDEO 2: by Cardiff Aviation. Passing through: two ducks are nesting at Cardiff Aviation's St Athan base ahead of official launch of the business. Bruce Dickinson of Cardiff Aviation and Iron Maiden is taking part in a reality series - Ice Pilots NWT, and while filming in northern Canada this summer made friends with the McBryan family who run Buffalo. Turned out that two CL-215 water bombers needed a stopover in Europe, so agreement was reached to park them up and give them a little tickle before they moved on to their next firefighting challenge, which could be anywhere in the world.