IRON MAIDEN's DOWNLOAD Festival Spitfire Flypast Was 'Fantastic,' Says Squadron Leader

IRON MAIDEN kicked off its headlining performance at Download festival on June 15 with a Spitfire TE311 flypast. The classic World War II fighter plane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight stationed at RAF Coningsby crossed the skies at Donington Park in Leicestershire, United Kingdom three times before the British heavy metal legends opened their show with "Moonchild", a song from their 1988 album "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". Check out video footage below.

Squadron Leader Andrew Millikin was behind the controls of the aircraft as it flew over 90,000 expectant fans. He told Horncastle News: "We do flypasts all over the country but this was something completely different. We don't normally do rock festivals. There's been a lot of interest from fans who attended. I'd have never thought that a bunch of metal fans would be interested in RAF craft but I've been proved wrong. It was fantastic to fly over. I get goose bumps every time I see the Spitfire in the air, so I can't imagine what it was like down there. It was really nerve racking at times, though. We wanted to make sure we were right on time for the start of the band’s performance."

This was IRON MAIDEN's fifth time at the festival, which was known as Monsters Of Rock in its earlier incarnation. They last performed in 2007, on a bill that also included LINKIN PARK, SLAYER and MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE.

MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson, a commercial airline pilot and established aviation entrepreneur, last year teamed with Joe McBryan and the staff of Buffalo Airways, who star in History Television reality-TV show "Ice Pilots NWT", for an episode in which he flew a World War II–era plane to Yellowknife in Canada. The flight was even covered by a couple of journalists who were enthusiastically covering it live on Twitter.

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