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Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson Reflects on Beginning Aviation Career Shortly After 9/11

Bruce Dickinson
Karl Walter, Getty Images

Since the release of the ‘Flight 666′ documentary, it’s become well-known that Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has a passion for flying jets. Having manned the helm for the now-defunct Astraeus Airlines, Dickinson’s decade of flying started shortly after the tragedy of 9/11.

In a recent interview with TTT Digital, Dickinson, who was in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, recounted his memories of the tragedy. “I’d just completed my line training and was all signed off to fly, and was in New York with the band,” says Dickinson. “It was a really sunny day, and I was sitting on the roof of the hotel by the pool. I had a Boeing 757 manual on my lap, reading up, when a little old lady walked up to the pool attendant and asked if it was true that a plane had flown into the twin towers. I thought it must have been a small private plane, and went back to my reading. Then more people arrived, and someone said it was some sort of airliner, and I thought, ‘Oh boy…’”

In the 11 years since the tragic events of 9/11, Dickinson has flourished as a professional pilot, which has since resulted in the vocalist piloting one of the first flights after Hurricane Irene, as well as rescuing stranded British tourists from Egypt in 2008 and Lebanon during the Israel / Hezbollah conflict in 2006.

Dickinson has also managed to fly Maiden fans out to shows for special tour packages. “I’m my own tour operator,” Dickinson proclaims. “I charter a flight and then advertise the packages for around £500 (around $800 U.S.), which includes hotels, me flying them there, an onboard goody-bag, and a backstage tour.”

Iron Maiden are set to hit North America in June for a massive tour, during which Maiden will be focusing on performing songs from the ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ record.

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