And Finally Artist News Gigs & Festivals Live Business

Bruce Dickinson retires as Iron Maiden’s pilot

By | Published on Monday 31 January 2022

Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson has decided to hang up his pilot’s hat. Next time Iron Maiden’s Ed Force One takes off, he’ll be strapped in listening to the safety announcement with the rest of the band.

The singer has jetted Iron Maiden, their crew and equipment around the world on their own Boeing 747 passenger jet for more than a decade – thanks to his second job as a commercial airline pilot. But when the band embark of their next round of tour dates later this year, it won’t be Dickinson at the controls.

“We’re going to be flying and I’m going to be in the back”, he tells Associated Press. “Hey, look, I’m 63 – I’m 64 in August. You know, when you get to 65, if you’re an airline pilot, they just take you out the back and shoot, right? So, I’m going to be sitting in the back being the backseat driver”.

Well, if it’s that or get shot, I guess it’s an easy decision. There’s nothing in the written rules about the shootings, but apparently pilots are required to hang up their hats at 65. Still, that just means more time to live up to some rock n roll stereotypes, right?

Or maybe not. “I’ve got more crazy airline stories than rock n roll stories”, he insists. “Because, trust me, the days of the airline were way more rock n roll than Iron Maiden is … off stage”.

Provided he can stop himself giving pointers to the new pilot the whole way and/or get some sleep, Dickinson will be arriving refreshed to Iron Maiden’s next round of world tour dates, which kick off in Croatia on 22 May.