Maiden's ED FORCE ONE badly damaged in Santiago, Chile
The aircraft has been transporting the group’s members and its equipment for an extensive tour, which was covering Latin American cities in March. It had arrived at Santiago's Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez airport for a concert on 11 March but the band states that, on 12 March, it was hitched to a tug to be towed for refuelling. “On moving, the steering pin that is part of the mechanism that connects the ground tug to the aircraft seemingly fell out,” it says. Steering failed during a turn and the aircraft collided with the tractor, it adds, badly damaging the nacelles and inlet cowls of both left-hand General Electric CF6 powerplants, as well as its undercarriage.
Two operators of the tractor were hospitalised as a result of the accident. None of the band members or their crew was on board and the tour equipment, some 20t in weight, had not been loaded.
In a following Facebook post the band stated “We are also delighted to say that we have been officially informed that the two Chilean airport staff who were injured following the malfunction of the tow truck connecting bolt will make a complete recovery. Best wishes to them and their families.”
“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.”