A Trooper of a different kind swooped in to RAF Halton this week – in the shape of Iron Maiden rocker Bruce Dickinson.
The world-famous frontman, who is an experienced pilot, made a surprise landing at the base when his Fokker Triplane started to run low on fuel.
Dickinson, who is most famous for hits including Number of The Beast, Trooper and Run To The Hills, diverted his plane into Halton, where RAF personnel were on hand to refuel the historic plane.
Squadron leader Gary Coleman, officer commanding operations squadron at RAF Halton, said: “We applaud Bruce Dickinson’s decision to divert to RAF Halton rather than press to his destination with potentially low fuel.
“To see such a well-regarded pilot, and world-renowned rock singer, make this decision is great for our student pilots to see.
“It makes them realise that anyone can find themselves low on fuel due to unforeseen circumstances and that the right decision is to divert.
“He really does have a magnificent Fokker Triplane, so it was a pleasure to provide it with a home for a few nights until we sent him on his way.
“This happy outcome is thanks to the work of Charles Strasser, the vice president of the Aircraft Operators’ and Pilots’ Association (AOPA), in getting the Strasser Scheme up and running several years back for the benefit of all.”
The Strasser Scheme was set up so that aircraft in a real emergency can divert with no extra charge. All MOD airfields as well as 99% of the UK’s civilian airfields, are signed up.
Bruce Dickinson holds the coveted Air Transport Pilots’ Licence and has around 7,000 flying hours under his belt.
He really does have a magnificent Fokker TriplaneSquadron leader Gary Coleman