IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson spoke to The Wall Street Journal about Cardiff Aviation, his company that mixes airline leasing, plane maintenance and pilot training — all in the Welsh valleys. The business plans to build an airline fleet of up to 10 aircraft within a few years and fill a market niche from its 132,000-square-foot hangar in St. Athan, Wales, Dickinson says. Check out the report below.
Dickinson is a commercial pilot, business owner, entrepreneur and creative business thinker. He was a pilot and marketing director for Astraeus Airlines, a company which leased aircraft to other carriers.
Bruce left IRON MAIDEN in 1993 in order to pursue a solo career, his passion for fencing and an interest in becoming a pilot. Bruce rejoined the band in 1999 and has gone on to release four albums; despite this, he hasn't stopped flying Boeing 757s.
Asked by Lufthansa Magazin what is more exhausting, a long-distance flight or an IRON MAIDEN concert, Dickinson said: "They are both tiring, but in different ways. The physical element at the IRON MAIDEN show is the most tiring part. Your brain is so wired you can’t sleep for about six hours. With flying, it is a very different kind of tired. You sit in a seat without any activity for nine or ten hours but your mind is exhausted because you've actually done a lot of high-concentration work at the beginning and end of the flight."
Regarding what the biggest contrast is between flying a plane and singing in a heavy metal band, Dickinson said: "Everything I do on stage is about exhibition, about putting on a show. Flying is completely the opposite, it is about the inside. You don't operate an airliner like the old aviators with a stick and rudder, you manage modern flights. What pilots really are, although it doesn't sound very sexy, are risk managers. Our job is to make the experience of flying undetectable to the passengers. When I was a pilot, I enjoyed that role because it was so different from my job in IRON MAIDEN."