Every ashes-scattering enquiry is different: We’ve not yet visited the same location twice and factors such as the weather, access to the site, and keeping clear of the general public always give us something to ponder when we arrive on site. But much of this is covered in the Planning Phase of our work and after arrival we’re simply adopting, or adapting, our plans.
Most recently, an enquiry presented us with the opportunity for a double ashes-scattering. Our client had the cremation remains of both parents and found the service delivered by Aerial Ashes as a fitting way to say their final goodbyes. We explained that our ash-drones can carry the full cremation remains of one adult and that in order to meet her wishes we could either use one ash-drone, on two separate sorties over the same area, or we could bring two ash-drones. I was delighted that she chose the latter – this was a first for us and something I’d been keen to do for some time.
The CAA allow us to operate in formation to as close as 2 metres; in practice, Charlie and I find 5 metres to be more comfortable unless in the hover. The lead pilot has responsibility for navigating around the safe airspace and heading out to the scattering zone… while all No 2 has to do is follow! I can make that sound easy but actually it takes quite a bit of extra practice and – most of all – great communication. Charlie and I arranged to have a couple of extended training flights around our field in Yorkshire and we evolved some sensible and safe additions to our formation brief without any awkward moments I’m pleased to say.
For the task itself, a double ashes-scattering by drone proved to be a great success. In a fresh westerly breeze, we were able to operate in loose formation while positioning, then tighten up a little once on location. The advantage of the fresh breeze was the effect it has on the ashes when released: we’d opted to settle in the hover before going for the planned coordinated release and it looked stunning as the ashes caught the passing airflow, both sets combining as they disappeared away from the coast.
So double ashes-scattering by drone worked very well on this occasion and in the future would be my recommended way of scattering ashes where a couple are involved.