Some people are born to be famous and some people are born to fly. But a disproportionate number seems to do both. Have you ever wondered why so many high-profile celebrities and businesspeople take to the skies and learn how to fly a plane?
Angelina Jolie, Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, Kurt Russel, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Gisele Bundchen… the list of famous flyers goes on and on.
So what’s the attraction of aviation and why do so many successful people turn their hand to it once they have reached the giddy heights of fame and fortune?
Of course the fortune part is obviously a major influence. Perhaps more of us would take to the controls if we had the means to do so. But is there also more to it than that?
Perhaps very successful, high profile people get used to achieving whatever they set their minds to and taking to the skies is kind of a ‘final frontier’. Like climbing Everest or buying a football club, flying your own aircraft must be an irresistible challenge to some or a life-long ambition from childhood for others. There’s little doubt the motivation will come from a very personal place.
Flying heavy metal
One of the most famous ‘celebrity’ flyers we have in the UK is Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden. Bruce’s sky-high antics have grabbed the headlines on many an occasion. Taking things to the extreme, Bruce was not content with soaring solo in a one man light aircraft above White Waltham airfield. He in fact spent some time piloting commercial flights for Astraeus Airlines.
After a long-spell flying tourists, business people and intrepid travellers to hundreds of far-flung destinations (probably without them realising a rock legend was at the helm), Bruce didn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t hire his own Boeing 747 – naming it ‘Ed Force One’ – as a way of transporting the band and it’s equipment around the globe during a significant world tour.
He has since honed his entrepreneurial and aviation experience and gone on to run an aircraft maintenance company Cardiff Aviation – recently renamed this month to Caerdav, of which he is chairman today.
According to Bruce Dickinson, “The satisfaction with flying aeroplanes is getting the job done, but the satisfaction with playing live is external, looking out at all the people looking at you. With an airliner it’s all internal, if you’ve got passengers nobody goes, wow wasn’t that great, they’re thinking about the rest of their day. Your job as an airline pilot is to deliver them safely and be invisible.
“That’s quite nice for me because it’s completely the opposite to what I do when I sing.”
So the solitude is a major attraction. That makes sense.
When you’re recognised everywhere you go, distancing yourself from the madding crowd may only feel truly achievable with a few thousand feet of thin air separating you from the ground.
But if you have the financial means to do more or less what you want, why not find a more accessible, and ‘grounded’ pastime? Like spending time on your own island or getting a boat?
What is it about the challenge of taking to the skies that holds such appeal?
Alongside Bruce Dickinson – who is himself an entrepreneur, author, performer, singer, songwriter, fencer and master brewer – we have Oscar-winning actresses, humanitarian ambassadors, authors, political enthusiasts, singers, dancers, directors among our line-up of celebrity flyers.
This is a cache of highly successful, driven people with something in common: They are all capable of reaching the height of fame not just by excelling in a single chosen field – but by branching out into other areas.
Because flying is not for the feint-hearted, nor is it for the one trick pony. A quick internet search into the type of skills required include an understanding of maths and physics, technical and mechanical know-how, spatial awareness and coordination, good communications skills, the ability to think quickly, discipline, self-confidence and commitment and leadership qualities.
With that in mind, there must be a correlation between being successful enough to fly your own plane and having the ability to do it – but that ability is more than just financial. It’s the ability to accomplish a range of skills and overcome fears.
As Bruce Dickinson enjoys explaining during his keynote speeches to diverse crowds during corporate events, flying an aircraft is both thrilling and challenging.
“It’s a great job. Every time I arrive at the aircraft to start a flight I think: ‘Wow, someone has lent me this for the day’. Nothing else compares.”
If you are planning a corporate event and are looking for an entertaining and engaging motivational speaker, Bruce Dickinson delivers all this and more. With his willingness to share stories from the different decades of his life, Bruce delivers a memorable keynote to audiences looking for inspiration from one of the globe’s most iconic performers.
To book Bruce Dickinson as a keynote at your event contact Dave Daniel at CSA Speakers on +44 (0) 1628 601 411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.