Iron Maiden will probably not be coming to Australia on board Ed Force One, after their iconic tour plane was “badly damaged” in a collision at Chile airport.
The band are currently in the midst of their Book Of Souls world tour, which is due to come Down Under this May, and are arranging alternative travel plans after their beloved Boeing 747 jumbo was involved in a runway accident on Saturday morning.
Though two airport staff were injured during the crash, neither the band, crew nor their 20 tons of equipment were on board at the time, and all thankfully remain unscathed.
As Blabbermouth reports:
The incident occurred when Ed Force One was tethered to a tow truck at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport just outside Santiago, to be taken for refueling prior to flying over the Andes to Cordoba. On moving, the steering pin that is part of the mechanism that connects the ground tug to the aircraft seemingly fell out. As a result, the aircraft had no steering and collided with the ground tug, badly damaging the undercarriage, two of the plane’s engines and injuring two ground tug operators, both of whom have been taken to hospital.
Thankfully Maiden have since released a statement, revealing that the two staff are expected to make a full recovery.
And although the most heavy metal plane in the world has suffered a shitload of damage, the band has pledged the setback will not affect any of their tour plans.
“Believe me, we will get to you all on this tour one way or another wherever you are,” they promised.
“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,” they continued.
“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 Ed Force One at the time of the accident.”
And though they have made alternative travel arrangements for their most imminent tour dates, Maiden are hoping to have a replacement Ed Force One jet sorted soon (Ed Force Two?), meaning frontman and pilot Bruce Dickenson will be back in the cockpit.
“Although this is tragic for our beautiful plane, we do not expect this to affect our concert schedule including the next two 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,” they said.
And, in true Maiden style, they ended their statement on a high note.
“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!”
“We expect no disruption to the tour in any way and are looking for a replacement 747 Ed Force One while our current beauty is healed.”
Meanwhile, an investigation into the incident has been launched by Chile’s Departamento Prevención de Accidentes.
Check out some of the photos of the damage that Ed suffered below, or check out some of what you can expect from Maiden on their upcoming Australian tour, here.
— Pablo Jiménez (@pablekejimenez) March 12, 2016