LIKE many a prominent rock star, Nick Mason, co-founder of, and drummer with, Pink Floyd, has frequently crisscrossed the globe by plane.

Flying was something he used to hate with a passion. Then, in the early 1980s, during a distinct lull in the band’s activities, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

“I used the greater amount of spare time to learn how to fly, finally conquering the fears that had been engendered by too many knuckle-whitening flights on tour”, he writes in his book Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd. “This obviously set a trend and somewhere along the line David [Gilmour, the band’s guitarist] also got his pilot’s licence - as did Steve O’Rourke [the band’s manager]. We ended up sharing planes for a number of years, and frightening ourselves far more than we ever did on all those commercial flights”.

Speaking on a promotional video for an avionics manufacturer, Mason recalled how his interest in flying was stirred by a conversation with a friend of his, a highly experienced display pilot. “We were talking about being on tour and I was saying the one problem with being on tour is the flying, because that really makes me nervous, and we’re all now really nervous about flying, and uncomfortable with it. And he looked at me and he said, ‘What you need to do is learn to fly’.

“Anyway, it’s the most expensive therapy you can possibly imagine ...”

His very first lesson with an instructor, he added, involved flying to Paris in order to buy a suitable flying jacket.

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In September 1985 Mason embarked on a promotional tour for an album he had made outwith Pink Floyd. When he landed his De Havilland Dove at Glasgow Airport in order to refuel, the Evening Times managed to grab a quick word, and a photograph or two.

“I enjoy flying and I love my music, so this journey’s a real pleasure”, he said. “I’ve had the Dove for a couple of years now. It was made in the 1950s - just a bit older than Pink Floyd!”

Prior to flying, Mason’s main passion had centred on sports cars - he is said to own a stunning collection of them, including a Ferrari 250 GTO (a 1962 version of the car sold for a record-breaking price of $48.4 million at auction in August of last year).

David Gilmour himself spoke eloquently, back in 2014, about his love of flying.

“I have dozens of beautiful classic aeroplanes, and what could be finer than to get into such an aircraft in your own backyard on a beautiful day and just take off? Those moments in the air briefly give me the feeling that I don’t exist. Sometimes it’s better than playing guitar. In a double-decker [biplane] you sometimes are literally floating between Heaven and Earth”.

The best-known musician-turned-pilot is Iron Maiden’s singer, Bruce Dickinson, who not only chairs an aviation company that offers maintenance, repair and overhaul, and training services, for airlines across the world, but also flies the band from show to show on their Boeing 747, named ‘Ed Force One’.