Bruce Dickinson Won’t Be Piloting Iron Maiden’s Plane on Next Tour

For over a decade, Iron Maiden have been traveling in style in their own custom-outfitted airplane which enables them to set up tour itineraries that would otherwise be next to impossible. Singer Bruce Dickinson, who is also a commercial airline captain, had been piloting 'Ed Force One' from show to show, but he has now revealed he won't be in the cockpit on the band's upcoming tour.

Iron Maiden's touring regimen is impressive for any band, much less a group of individuals in their 60s (drummer Nicko McBrain, the oldest member, will turn 70 later this year). Serving as the co-captain of the 'Ed Force One' Boeing 747 on top of performing for two hours a night has, been even more jaw-dropping, but those days may firmly be in the past now.

"What’s even more interesting than Ed Force One is how the hell did I end up being an airline pilot in the first place? And secondly, how do you become an airline pilot whilst you’re singing in a rock ‘n’ roll band? I’ve got more crazy airline stories than rock ‘n’ roll stories because, trust me, the days of the airline were way more rock ‘n’ roll than Iron Maiden is onstage. Well, offstage, rather," Dickinson, who also chairs Caerdav, an airplane maintenance, repair and pilot training business venture, told the Associated Press in an interview to promote his current U.S. and Canadian spoken word tour dates.

When pressed about Iron Maiden's upcoming 'Legacy of the Beast' tour legs and the possibility of again piloting 'Ed Force One,' Dickinson replied, "Oh, no, no, no, no. We’re going to be flying and I’m going to be in the back. 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."

The comment about age 65 is in reference to forced retirement rules in place by both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

See Dickinson's spoken word tour dates here and read Loudwire's full interview with the legend here. You can also head to this location to see Maiden's upcoming North American 'Legacy of the Beast' stops.

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