When Bruce Dickinson joined the rock band Iron Maiden in late 1981 he played his first gig in Italy after driving 36 hours in a van to get there. He must have scarcely imagined that twenty years later he would be flying to the Mediterranean, and not just as a passenger but flying a Boeing 737 as a first officer on British charter airline Astreus. After enjoying twelve years with Iron Maiden Bruce left in 1993, citing the inevitable musical differences. Bruce pursued a solo career and took up flying seriously, gaining his commercial pilots licence. He did get back with Maiden in 1999 but not before he began flying for an airline.
On one occasion, after a flight, he was in uniform in Munich airport and he was accosted by a German Iron Maiden fan in full battle dress (Tour T-shirt, cross, etc). “Hello? But I must know ……..is this the bus to Munich?' The Maiden reunion spawned a number of hits including Whicker Man, which meant that Bruce was the first airline pilot to have a Top 10 record on the UK singles chart.