Iron Maiden’s Ed Force One to Rejoin Tour After Repair
Iron Maiden had two enormous $4 million engines flown in to get Ed Force One, their jumbo tour jet, back up and running after a major runway accident in Chile. The plane is expected to rejoin the band's tour in support of The Book of Souls tomorrow in Brasilia.
The accident, which happened on March 12, "required the replacing of both of the Boeing 747's port side jet engines," Iron Maiden said in a statement on their Facebook page. That's "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."
Ed Force One is set to take off from Santiago Airport en route to Brasilia Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport, where it will be loaded with tour personnel and 20 tons of Iron Maiden equipment. The band's next stop is Fortaleza on March 24, and then Sao Paulo. This new world tour is expected to visit 36 countries over five months, with this new plane as a highlight. The incident in Chile put Ed Force One out of action for several subsequent shows.
Replacement parts arrived via a chartered 747 freighter on March 17, meeting six technicians who had been flown in from Iceland and Saudi Arabia to work with Iron Maiden's on-board staff. They took turns working 24-hour shifts, and both of the new engines were attached by midday on March 20. Meanwhile, Iron Maiden scrambled to make other arrangements for their massive tour.
“The speed and thoroughness of this incredibly complex operation was stunning and we are so very pleased to get our plane back," Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, a passionate airman, said. "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."
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