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Scattering ashes

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Greetings all!I'm looking for a little advice. Yesterday morning I walked into the FBO where I flight instruct and the owner said he had a different type of flight booked for me this coming Saturday afternoon. A local farmer passed away (turns out I'm related to him) awhile back and requested that his ashes be spread over his farm. The family called the FBO and the owner booked the flight.I've never done this type of thing before, but I've heard the horror stories of the ashes getting whipped/sucked back into the plane, dropping the urn, etc...The plane I'll be using is our C182. The left pilot's door window opens fully, and there's a hole cut in the floor to mount a camera for when we do the FSA compliance flights. I was thinking of visiting a local undertaker and look at an urn to get an idea of the size. I'm thinking of taping a wide mouth funnel to the top of the urn and dispensing the ashes through the camera hole. If anyone on this forum has any experience with this kind of thing or any suggestions, I'll be glad to hear them!Regards,Scott (KJMS)

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I used this method when my father passed away a few years ago.I used a section of 4" PVC pipe about 12-14" long to which I bonded a PVC cap at one end. I placed (not bonded) another PVC cap on the other end and drilled a hole through both walls of the tube and cap, so that a simple pin could pass through the tube and cap. The pin (in my case a long nail) fit loosely through the holes by design.After placing the ashes in the tube and placing the second cap to seal them in, I inserted the pin through the holes and lightly taped (duct tape) the pin for security. I also tied a three foot length of siene(sic) twine to the head of the nail so it would not fly through space when pulled for ejection.The tube was duct taped (didn't skimp on the tape) to the fuslage of a Tomahawk just under the pilot's side window. The end to be opened in flight was several inches behind the vent window, to place it safely behind any negative pressure zone created by the vent window. Climbed to altitude and tied the end of the twine (which I sat on during climb out) to my wrist. Wormed my hand out the vent window (this was the toughest task) and removed the pin. The cap stayed in place!!! Pulled the pin into the cockpit, then reached back out to remove the cap. And voila!!! Once the deed was done I replaced the cap (didn't think I could get it in through the window) where it stayed through landing. I duct taped the leading edge of the horizontal tail to protect it against being blasted by the ashes, which worked, but some paint came of when the tape was removed, as was the case when I removed the dispenser from the fuselage.I would recommend the camera port if at all possible. The key to success is to minimize any negative pressure areas that would draw the ashes into the cabin. The dispenser described above was put together in less than an hour from components found at a local hardware store. If the family wishes that you use an urn, just remember to do your best to seal the opening you eject through (again I would recommend the camera port; a side window is far too big and WILL present a negative pressure zone).Hope this helps, and good luck

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Thanks for the advice! I too, believe the camera port will work the best. I'm going to give it a test run tomorrow or the next day when we'er shooting compliance photos using some floor dry.Regards,Scott (KJMS)

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Another option that may not be so intensive....I used to fly jump with a C182. There's no adverse flight effects with a door ajar. Open yes...ajar no. I'm sure you're already aware of that. Get a wide mouth, long barreled funnel from the automotive supply section of Walmart. It's one like you use to change oil with.Have an aide sit the back seat. Open the door just wide enough to trail the funnel out the door. Then, and please, please pardon my crassness...pour the guy out the door....One thing you might want to consider before you do this...Would this be dropping an object from an aircraft? Better check FAR91....FAA's rather peculiar these days....BobL

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One Saturday morning back in mid 70's my employer/CFI called me on a Friday night, asking me to pull the C-172 out for a dawn departure. Of course I agreed.So I got to the small un-controlled field about 90 minutes before the sun rose, fog hung thick over the field early in the Fall. I made coffee, pulled/wrestled the plane to the ramp. Checked it over and retired to the small FBO office waiting for the CFI to arrive.A pair of headlights announce his arrival as I watched the dew collect on the grass. When he and his wife entered he asked if I wanted to go flying. Of course I agreed, and asked him what was up...."Gonna scatter some cremains at sunrise over Indian Lake" (right off the end of the unway about 2 miles).Well, its a free .5 hours in the logbook so I figured why not.The CFI rigged up a tube from heavy cardboard. The family dropped off the urn and returned to the Lake.I climbed in the left seat, the CFI in the right. Departure was normal, off and up into the clearing sky. We made the slow-flight "run" and the drop/scattering was made. Feeling good we returned to the airport.As we taxiied by, the CFI's wife caled us on unicom and requested we park over the storm drain on the ramp, facing the right side of the a/c away from the office's picture windows. As we got out we discovered why....The dew/oil etc on the belly/side of the plane made the ashes adhere in a thick, almost paste-like substance. The family was to return in :30 minutes to pick-up the urn....The CFI had had this happen before, so I was there to QUICKLY wash the plane down in excahnge for the .5 in my log-book.So 25 years on my advice is, have a hose ready. I don't think it was quite the "burial at sea" they wanted. (And yes, I felt bad)Timothy(Wanna hear how not to scatter 30 pounds of rose pedals from a B25 during a Memorial Day Service in a cemetary from a B-25?)

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Thanks to all who have responded! I really appreciate it. However, what might complicate things just a tad, is that I'm informed a couple of family members will be "pouring the guy out the door". That's one of my major concerns in not wanting to screw this up...Geez, cropdusting was SO much easier!Regards,Scott (KJMS)

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Worst case scenario, if something does go wrong, you'll have a funny story to tell at the bar! ;-)

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I did!! LOL!! My "passenger" ended up all over the inside of a C-150 and was buried in a Hoover bag!Don

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One tried and proven way is if the plane has a small window that will open like most Pipers have on the pilots side,or any small opening that is easy to get to,is to put the remains in a small brown paper bag and put a sharp stick, a pencil will do well thru the top.... Then at the proper time put THE BOTTEM of the paper bag out the small open window and use the pencil to make a hole in the bottem of the bag and let the wind do the rest... It's simple, doen't require any special equiptment and does the job well... The Smaller the opening the less chance there is of the deceased rejoining you in the aircraft... If the opening is larger hold the bag next to the rear of the opening... but the real key is use as small an opening as you can and to do it quickly....Ron Mashburn

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My dad was a career fighter pilot, having been a young Lt in F86's in Korea, a T28 and T33 IP at Webb AFB and a F100 jock for most of his USAF career. When he died, I took his ashes home to Reno. We stuffed his ashes into the speed brake well of a Nevada ANG RF-4 and took him to the tanker one night, then had a great radar low-level from the Ruby Mountains back to Lovelock, then made a slow pass over Tahoe and popped him out of the speed brake well. No finer end for a true fighter guy! Here's to you Leu! We love you still!

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On a really boring note..... check your state's laws on the scattering of cremains. We had a big scandal here in Northern CA a couple of years ago. Apparently you need a special license in CA to scatter cremains, and there are strict limitations on where you can do it. Well, a pilot who had a CA state license to scatter cremains had a business doing so, but he got sick, and couldn't find another pilot with a cremains license to cover for him. By the time he was able to fly again, he was so far behind he apparently gave up on trying to catch up. Somehow or other it came to light that he had literally thousands of boxes of human cremains stored in a public storage locker. During the resulting press furor he committed suicide.Richard

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"One thing you might want to consider before you do this...Would this be dropping an object from an aircraft? Better check FAR91....FAA's rather peculiar these days...."That was my initial reaction too.Good luck with this,Bruce.

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