Iron Maiden’s ‘Ed Force One’ Jumbo Jet Badly Damaged, Leaving Two Hospitalized
Oh, for Eddie's sake! Iron Maiden are currently underway on their massive, 36-country world tour in support of The Book of Souls and the trek has already seen fans around the globe marvel at the brand new Boeing 747-400 "Ed Force One" jumbo jet. Unfortunately, the band may be forced to make alternate plans as two of the aircraft's engines were badly damaged in Santiago, Chile, leaving two workers hospitalized.
The tour marks the debut of the new craft, having upgraded to accommodate Iron Maiden's ambitious stage design which simply could not fit in their previous plane. Singer Bruce Dickinson is once again piloting the band, crew and 20 tons of equipment on the trek, but the possibility that they will have to find an alternate means of transportation is high. The British legends posted an update on their Facebook page, detailing how the engines were damaged (pictures above and below) and what the trajectory looks like from here in regards to repairing the craft. The full statement reads:
ED FORCE ONE BADLY DAMAGED ON THE GROUND IN COMODORO ARTURO MERINO BENITEZ (SANTIAGO, CHILE) AIRPORT
CONCERTS IN ARGENTINA TOMORROW AND TUESDAY EXPECTED TO GO AHEAD AS PLANNED
Ed Force One was this morning tethered to a tow truck to be taken for refueling prior to flying over the Andes to Cordoba for the next show. On moving the steering pin that is part of the mechanism that connects the ground tug to the aircraft seemingly fell out. On making a turn the aircraft had no steering and collided with the ground tug badly damaging the undercarriage, two of the aircrafts engines and injuring two ground tug operators, both of whom have been taken to hospital. We hope of course that they make a full and speedy recovery and we will be closely monitoring their progress. The flight engineers are on site and evaluating the damage, but their initial report is that the engines have suffered large damage and will require an extended period of maintenance and possibly two new engines.
We are currently making contingency arrangements to get to the show in Cordoba tomorrow with band, crew and equipment intact. Fortunately the 20 tons of equipment had not been loaded onto EF1 at the time of the accident. Although this is tragic for our beautiful plane we do not expect this to affect our concert schedule including the next 2 shows in Cordoba and Buenos Aires. And we hope to find a new Ed Force One to continue this adventure with us in the near future. We will keep everyone updated when we know more, so keep checking only on this site for official news.
To finish on a high note however, our visit to Chile was a huge success with 58,000 fans coming to the show as totally brilliant as ever in the Stadium Nacional last night. We love you guys!
In other Iron Maiden aircraft-related news, Record Store Day 2016 (April 16) will see the special release of a 12-inch limited-edition vinyl picture disc of the Dickinson-penned, 18 minute opus "Empire of the Clouds." Closing out The Book of Souls, the cinematic piece was inspired by the tragic crashing of the R101 aircraft in 1930. The packaging will feature a replica of the newspaper article (seen here) which first reported the story. The B-side of the record contains an audio interview with the singer as he discusses his inspiration behind the song.
Commenting on the release, Parlaphone Records director of strategic marketing Paul Fletcher stated, “After the success of The Book Of Souls last year and especially with the reaction to the triple vinyl format I felt that a song like ‘Empire Of The Clouds’ needed to be immortalized in some way. It was never going to be a radio track / single so after discussions with management we went down the let’s educate & commemorate a real tragedy that Bruce had chosen to portray in this amazing song. As usual with Maiden they turned the package into something special with unique commissioned artwork and the idea to licence historic material from the Daily Mirror archives from 1930. The result is an incredible package that both vinyl collectors & Maiden fans will be keen to own.”
Iron Maiden kicked off their world tour on Feb. 24 in Florida and a full review of the show and photo gallery can be seen here.
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