The Beginnings

Scattering the ashes of former airmen over the sea from an RAF helicopter was something I was occasionally asked to do as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot. It was a lovely way to lay ashes to rest and understandably a nearby beach would forever be a special place for family members.

The Beginnings

Scattering the ashes of former airmen over the sea from an RAF helicopter was something I was occasionally asked to do as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot. It was a lovely way to lay ashes to rest and understandably a nearby beach would forever be a special place for family members.

After a few similar requests, those of us involved began to understand better the optimum heights and speeds and the challenges of localised airflows around the helicopter to ensure a clean and even scattering.

Later in my career, whilst fighting fires in the Eastern Mediterranean I found myself once again scattering… but this time it was water from a bespoke bucket underslung from the helicopter. It was an exciting task, but the precision required to be at the right height and at the right speed reminded me of those early occasions of scattering ashes from the air and it made me think...

Many people hold on to the ashes of a loved one, not knowing how or where to finally lay them to rest and perhaps feeling a little anxious about getting involved themselves. Scattering from the air enables such remains to be finely and cleanly dispersed and opens up so many location opportunities whether that be over land or sea; scattering ashes from a helicopter, however, is not really accessible to everyone.

After over 30 years of military helicopter flying, I am now the founder of Aerial Ashes. Following months of trials and development, Aerial Ashes have successfully adapted drones fitted with load boxes specially modified to carry and remotely release cremation ashes over your chosen location. And most importantly, this is a service that is accessible to all, throughout the UK, and all year round.

Christopher Mace

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