Gareth Catermole, Getty Images Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson is also a…
- Posted on Jul 30th 2012 11:10AM by Jason MacNeil
The Edmonton Journal reports Dickinson flew the Douglas DC-3 from Edmonton's Municipal Airport to Hay River in the Northwest Territories. The plane -- which Dickinson dubbed "Ed Force Three" after the band's iconic mascot -- was one of the first the Royal Air Force used in dropping paratroopers over the beaches of Normandy during D-Day operations in 1944.
"It's a classic airplane," Dickinson told the paper. "I did a little bit of flying of these in the States. It's like a vintage car -- there's pretty much nothing automatic on it, apart from the engines, which keep going, and that's it. It's a great airplane. It's historic and an experience, which is rare these days."
A YouTube clip of the flight shows Dickinson preparing for the flight with Mikey McBryan (one of the reality show's stars) saying Dickinson "wanted to fly some vintage airplanes." McBryan also called Dickinson "a real pilot's pilot." Dickinson, meanwhile, said he was surprised at how the company is operated with seemingly more planes at its disposal than employees.
After landing in Hay River, Dickinson signed some autographs before making another trek, this time a roughly 45-minute flight from Hay River to Yellowknife. Dickinson agreed to fly the plane and be filmed for Ice Pilots NWT after being asked if he knew about the McBryan family and the television series, which he did. After playing Edmonton's Rexall Place on Friday night, the singer knew he had a day off between shows so he decided to fly the DC-3. He also flew another 1940s aircraft, a DC-4, when he landed in Yellowknife.
"What they're doing with keeping those airplanes going is just miraculous," Dickinson said. "Ride 'em cowboy." The singer also said it's possible Buffalo Airways -- owned by the McBryan family -- could do business with his own enterprise in the U.K., Cardiff Aviation.
About a dozen people accompanied Dickinson on the trek which was filmed for a future episode of Ice Pilots NWT and is expected to air sometime in October.
Dickinson returned to Vancouver yesterday in time to perform with the band. Iron Maiden's tour continues tonight in Seattle with the band's North American jaunt concluding in Houston on Aug. 18.