story and photo by Danilo Cekrdzin
On April 2,2016 an Air Atlanta Icelandic Boeing 747-400 registration TF-AAK arrived at Toronto from Montreal. The famous British rock band Iron Maiden leased the aircraft for its latest Book of Souls tour. The jet was piloted by the leader of the band, Bruce Dickinson, a licenced ATP pilot who also works for Air Atlanta. It was custom painted in an eye catching colour scheme as ‘Ed Force One’ featuring IRON MAIDEN titles and the band’s mascot ‘Eddy’ on the tail. A group of about 60 Pearson aviation enthusiasts gathered on top of a parking garage on Airport road to photograph the arrival. There was a tense moment for the entire the group while waiting for runaway assignment for the aircraft, but that soon turned into joy as Runway 23 was announced. When it landed it turned left off the runway and taxied back on taxiway Hotel and runaway 15 towards the Signature North Lounge. It was pushed into the tight space by an airport tug. It was greeted by large crowds of Iron Maiden fans who significantly outnumbered the aviation enthusiasts and were seen around the North Lounge fence line for the rest of the weekend. The aircraft remained parked there until April 4 when it departed to Detroit for its next gig.