No matter how big of a band you are, it hurts badly to have trouble with your transport, particularly when we’re talking about an entire airplane instead of a tour bus or a van, and Iron Maiden had that experience themselves when they had an accident with their brand new Ed Force One in Chile during their South American tour.
The incident left two Chilean airport staff injured following the malfunction of the tow truck who, gladly, have been steadily recovering in the hospital, and a massive change of plans for the band’s logistics to continue their tour without any cancellation. The band was able to pull through their plans and played all their scheduled dates without their plane but after almost two weeks of work, Ed Force One is back in action.
The accident required the replacing of both of the Boeing 747’s port side jet engines, a tough proposition at the best of times but not made any easier by the fact of the distances involved in getting such huge components, parts, tools and technical crew to Chile as quickly as possible to get Ed Force One back in the air. The engines alone weigh 5000 kg each, and cost around four million dollars each.
Frontman and pilot, Bruce Dickinson said the following:
“The speed and thoroughness of this incredibly complex operation was stunning and we are so very pleased to get our plane back! We would like to thank Air Atlanta and their terrific rescue team for a fantastic effort in achieving this in the time they did, and to Boeing, LAN Chile. ACS and Rock It Cargo for all their invaluable support. We are sorry though for our fans in Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Rio and Belo Horizonte who missed out seeing the plane, but we hope they enjoyed the concerts as much as we did.
We should also thank our Killer Krew who found themselves at lunchtime on the Saturday of the accident with over 20 tons of equipment at the airport in Santiago and over 60 people all to get to Cordoba for early the next day to set up the huge show we are carrying. The distance is “only” 1000km, but with a small matter of the Andes in between! They did it , by the skin of the teeth, and all went very well for the show in Cordoba and the other three cities Ed Force One just missed. It’s quite a feat of logistics to find and put into action at such short notice all the transport, replacement air-charters, schedule flights etcetera to enable us to play those next four shows on time without Ed Force One, our transport for everything. Great effort, team, many thanks from all of us. And to our promoter MOVE and ACS for all their assistance and time with this too“
Check out the pictures of the repair process along with the badasses who got Ed Force One ready to fly away like an eagle.