Iron Maiden frontman and Cardiff Aviation chairman Bruce Dickinson has completed his 747 pilot training, ready to fly the band on their The Book of Souls world tour on board Ed Force One.
Dickinson, who is already qualified to fly a variety of aircraft ranging from Fokker triplanes to the Boeing 737, has now clocked up the requisite hours in simulators both at British Airways at Heathrow and at Cardiff Aviation’s own training facilities in South Wales.
He has been learning alongside cadets from Air Atlanta Icelandic, which puts dozens of trainees through Cardiff Aviation’s Jet Orientation Courses and Multi-Crew Co-operation Courses every month.
His departure on 19 February will see him pilot the Queen of the Skies, the 747-400, across the globe to around 35 countries, starting in the United States, before heading to Central and South America, China, Australasia, Africa and Europe – every continent except Antarctica.
He expects to clock up around 55,000 miles as pilot, meaning it has been essential to get as much experience as possible in advance of the tour.
Dickinson says: “Our training facilities at Cardiff Aviation are ideal as we have two 747-400 simulators and through Wings Alliance, an extensive range of cost-effective, flexible groundschools. It’s been the perfect place to hone my skills and familiarise myself with flying the latest incarnation of Ed Force One, and I can’t wait to tour the globe once more, sat in the best seat in the house.”
Dickinson will actually complete his line training, or ‘on the job’ experience, during the tour itself, which contains a combination of long haul and short haul flights. He also expects to be piloting the band between venues on the majority of journeys, as the tour schedule has been tailored to provide the rest time required by international regulations between each flight.
Cardiff Aviation’s facilities are used by a variety of airlines for JOC and MCC courses, in addition to providing the final assessments and quality checks for trainees learning to fly commercial airliners through Wings Alliance. Cardiff Aviation’s simulator facilities are also open to the public for leisure and corporate sim experiences, meaning aviation enthusiasts of all levels have the chance to practice using the same equipment as Bruce Dickinson.
Notes to editor
Cardiff Aviation is a fully-approved and certified MRO and pilot training company based at St Athan -Cardiff Airport Aerospace Enterprise Zone in South Wales, United Kingdom. Operating from a former RAF maintenance base with parking for up to 20 narrow-bodied airliners, Cardiff Aviation can conduct MRO work on aircraft of almost any size, including Boeing 737s, 757s and Airbus 320s.
Cardiff Aviation also has two Boeing 747 training simulators and one of just two Sikorsky S-61 helicopter simulators in the world. Customers for the MRO and training facilities include Air Atlanta Icelandic, the Royal Malaysian Air Force and British International Helicopters.