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  MASSIVE ED FORCE ONE REPAIRS COMPLETED IN JUST TEN DAYS
22nd March 2016



iron maiden

Following the major accident in Chile on the morning of Saturday March 12th (full story here), Iron Maiden are delighted to announce that a fully repaired Ed Force One will take off this afternoon, Tuesday March 22nd, from Santiago Airport to rejoin the tour at Brasília Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport.

Following the show at Nilsen Nelson Arena, the plane will be loaded up once again today (Wednesday) with over 20 tons of equipment and tour personnel to fly to Fortaleza for the concert on Thursday and on from there to Sao Paulo then New York and onwards round the World on The Book of Souls World Tour which visits 36 countries in the five month period.

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The accident required the replacing of both of the Boeing 747's port side jet engines, 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 to get Ed Force One back in the air. The engines alone weigh 5000kg each, and cost around four million dollars each.

Ed Force One is leased from Air Atlanta who went into immediate action following the incident, with technical assistance from Boeing. An emergency meeting on the Sunday was called to create a comprehensive detailed plan for this complex operation – locating suitable engines, thrust reversers, cowlings and parts, working out necessary tooling and technical team, logistics of ground and freight transport and tech team travel and a myriad of other detail. All from scratch. The next couple of days were spent putting these plans meticulously into place.

The result was that on Thursday last, March 17th, a Cargolux chartered 747 freighter left Luxembourg carrying two huge replacement jet engines, trucked there from Hannover, Germany. The Charter stopped over at Stansted Airport, Essex, UK to collect two more consignments. Cowlings and thrust reversers were trucked there in huge boxes from Kemble, UK, along with tooling and consumables flown in specially from Jeddah to Heathrow and hauled to Stansted.

The chartered 747 then completed the 12,000km (7410 miles) flight to Santiago, arriving at 9.00am Friday morning. The technicians were flown there from Iceland and from Atlanta Air's base in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, six in total, to join with EF1's own two onboard techs, Bjorn Bjarnason and Sigurbjarni (Barney) Thormundsson, and Jeremy Smith of Rock-It Cargo Ltd, who is on tour with Maiden supervising the freight and customs aspects.

The engines were cleared by Chilean Customs Friday lunchtime and they were transferred to the LAN Chile maintenance area of the airport arriving just before 2.00pm. Working in shifts 24 hours a day the techs were then able to start removing Engine number 1 and then on Saturday Engine number 2. Using hoists and cranes the damaged engines had to be detached then lowered into a cradle in order to swap with the new replacement engines. The replacement engines were then lifted up and into place.

Once the support pylons had been inspected and x-rayed and damage assessed, both of which passed with flying colours, then the new engines were attached with, as one of the techs said, a "million" wires. Both were finally in place and attached by Sunday lunchtime and then the thrust reversers fitted overnight, almost as complex an operation as fitting the actual engines due to being right under the wing. The final piece of the jigsaw was for the Eddie decals to be fitted and then both engines tested by running to full power.

Bruce Dickinson, Maiden vocalist and pilot of Ed Force One said: "The speed and thoroughness of this incredibly complex operation was stunning and we are so very pleased to get our plane back! We would like to thank Air Atlanta and their terrific rescue team for a fantastic effort in achieving this in the time they did, and to Boeing, LAN Chile. ACS and Rock-It Cargo for all their invaluable support. 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.

"We should also thank our Killer Krew who found themselves at lunchtime on the Saturday of the accident with over 20 tons of equipment at the airport in Santiago and over 60 people all to get to Cordoba for early the next day to set up the huge show we are carrying. The distance is "only" 1000km, but with a small matter of the Andes in between! They did it, by the skin of the teeth, and all went very well for the show in Cordoba and the other cities EF1 just missed.

"It's quite a feat of logistics to find and put into action at such short notice all the transport, replacement air-charters, schedule flights etcetera to enable us to play those next four shows on time without EF1, our transport for everything. Great effort, team, many thanks from all of us. And to our promoter MOVE and ACS for all their assistance and time with this too."

Maiden played the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday 13th March and the next event at the 57,000 capacity stadium is a football World Cup qualifier between Argentina and Bolivia on March 30th. However, the Argentinian players are upset that the pitch is in a dreadful state after it was damaged during the Maiden gig.

No repairs have been carried out since the concert leaving large patches of bare grass and uneven ground just eight days before Lionel Messi and co take to the pitch.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, who flew to Buenos Aires to link up with the Argentina squad on Sunday said: "It's weird and shocking for us."

We're not so sure about the bare patches but the uneven ground should be easily taken care of by the Argentinian players constantly diving and rolling around every time a Bolivian player comes within two feet of them.





WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

wacken

MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

wacken

Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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