Spreading ashes

C172Heavy

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Hello,

I have a friend who wants to spread ashes over a piece of property. I would be flying a 172 and I was wondering if anyone can offer any advice to accomplish this task successfully the first time, seeing as we only have one chance.

Thanks for the help.

Fly safe!
 

bobbysamd

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Aside from reviewing the FARs on dropping objects, I'd first call the city and find out if you need a permit or something to scatter ashes during flight.
 

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We used to do these quite often in a 172... There is no need to check for dropping rules with the city since nothing ever hits the ground (nothing perceptable anyhow)...

Important Rules:

1. Slow to a reasonable speed (70 kias or so)
2. Hold Urn at very rear of window
3. Do not open Urn until it is outside window hold beind window if possible.
4. Before opening Urn slip the plane using the rudder on the side of the dump (i.e. if you are dumping from right window, use right rudder)
5. Make sure plane is not wet (very important)
6. Take your watch off, my friend still has some guy griding around in the rotatable bezel of his watch

If you don't follow these instructions, you will have a nice grey cloud whirling around the cockpit... I'll let you figure out what the cloud is.... and it ain't pretty...
 

F/O

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C172 Heavy

Falcon Capt gave you some great tips.

Additional considerations:

--No matter how much a passenger may want open the urn and disperse the ash themselves, don't let them! Believe me, they will probably screw up and then you will have ash floating around the cabin. Even a minor amount is enough to give you a nice gritty feel between your teeth. It's not pleasant.

--This may go without saying, but on a 172, you will need to prep the window before flight by disconnecting the little arm that holds the window slightly open. You want the window to be able to fold completely open so you can get the urn as far back and away from you as possible. Once fully open, the slipstream will hold it there. All you need for this is a Leatherman or the screwdriver on your fuel tester.

--Whos airplane will you be using for this? You WILL have a bit of a gray streak along the side of the aircraft. If you slip you may avoid most of it, but there's always a bit of residue left on the plane that will need to be cleaned off...

I have done these at the coast and over Mt. St. Helens. In my opinion, if you are doing it for the flight time, it's really not worth it.....
 

Jump Pilot

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There was an article in Flying magazine a while back about this subject. You may see if you can find it. It might have been one of those "I learned about flying from" articles.

Anyway, if I remember correctly, the guy used a Cherokee and had some sort of funnel and hose thing set up. Might give you some ideas if you can find it.
 

Buzo

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Just make sure you don't do it over Seattle. Someone did it a few months back and it resulted in the evacuation of part of the city. I believe they are pressing charges against the pilot for the event also.
 

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Buzo said:
Just make sure you don't do it over Seattle. Someone did it a few months back and it resulted in the evacuation of part of the city. I believe they are pressing charges against the pilot for the event also.


That's a good point, in this day and age that is something to be VERY concerned with....
 

C172Heavy

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Thanks for the replies,

Fortunately this will be over a very rural area in NW Oregon so I don't think they could organize an evacuation anyways! We are probably going to do a test drop with some flour or something to see what happens.

Fly safe.
 

aero99

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I remember reading the article with the commance. They used some tubing and duct tape to "vacuum" the ashes out of the plane. Seemed to be a good solution for the commance and the "airhole" on the left side.

I would also try to put a line on the urn in case the wind pulls it out of your hand when you stick it out there. Wouldn't be good if you accidently drop it, then you are busting regs.
 

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aero99 said:
I would also try to put a line on the urn in case the wind pulls it out of your hand when you stick it out there. Wouldn't be good if you accidently drop it, then you are busting regs.

Only if it WHHHAAAPPPPSSSS Farmer Fred in the head on the ground! If it bounces off a gopher hole then no regs busted. (unless of course there is some new dropping things reg since 9/11)
 

727cargoAv8R

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It's been a few years since I have done one, but I recall we used a tube that is usually sent in the mail system to hold posters. I fastened a string to one of the plastic caps and pushed it as far out in the slipstream as I could before I pulled the string. DO NOT let a family member perform this task. Hope this helps
 

tarp

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Did it in A C-152 with a lady who wanted to spread her mom's ashes over some parkland.

Remember to fix the window.

The C-152 was so slow there almost wasn't enough airflow to keep the window open.

Very moving experience - bring some kleenex for the tears.

If you don't slip and keep it slow, you may hear something hitting the tail feathers. Be aware.

Lady was very cool - transferred her mom's ashes into a small velvet bag - reminded me of a Crown Royal bag (but it wasn't). She asked if she could toss the bag - I gave her my swiss army knife and told her to cut the seams and then she tossed it like a towel.
 

OtterFO

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I spread my fathers ashes out of a Cherokee a couple of years ago.

Took a 3' length of 1.5" diamater PVC pipe. Put a plug one end. Loaded it like a muzzle loader. Then we took a plastic plug and drilled a small hole in the center and attached a string to it, then pluged the other end of the pipe.

In the Cessna, open the window, hold the whole pipe out aligned with the slipstreem and pull the stringed plug off. You may have to shake the pipe to get all the ashes out. My dad was pretty good sized and I ended up packing it pretty tight. Its is critical that you hold the whole pipe outside the aircraft and make sure the discharge end is aft of the open window. Also if you angle the pipe down and use a little bit of flaps you will avoid dusting the tail.

Good luck
 

Hovernut

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From what I recall of the "Flying" mag article, the crew had a bad experience with a 172 with the cloud in the cockpit. They chose a Piper product with the vent window because of the substantial suction it produces when open in flight.
 

RJones

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My father did this once for a friend. My father owned a C-185 on floats; they took off with the urn, climb to about 800', opened the window, opened the urn and attempted to get the ashes out. Spitoo, spitoo, caugh, caugh and gray looking faces when they returned, sad but extremly funny. Five years after that we were still vacuuming ashes out of the plane at every annual.

So my father modified the procedure, same family. He built aluminum box with a lid that had a release mechanism (string into the plane) and duct taped it to the strut. Much better results this time.

RJ
 

AK737FO

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Ashes to Ashes...

I use to do this out of a Cherokee 6. One guy flys, one guy (another pilot) cracks the back door and send the ashes on their way.
Sometimes the family wanted to fly along. Bring several boxes of tissue...
Sometimes they family would just want it dropped over the ocean, over Tillamook head light house, over the farm... and did not care to fly along.
The ashes would usually come to us in an urn or in a cardboard box. We would always transfer the ashes to a paper bag. This gives you a lot more control on getting the ash out of the airplane through a cracked door or window. If we were off shore we would just "bombs away" with the whole bag. The water splash when the bag hits is pretty impressive.

We did notice a little "sand blasting" on the 6's tail after a half dozen or so airial dispersions.
 

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Re: Ashes to Ashes...

AK737FO said:
We did notice a little "sand blasting" on the 6's tail after a half dozen or so airial dispersions.

Such is life, one day you are rolling along fat, dumb and happy... the next you are chipping paint off of some Cherokee's horizontal stab with your teeth....
 

F/O

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AK737FO

I used the "paper bag method" you refer to offshore from Pacific City one time. But, I was by myself on that run, I think family members prefer scattering directly from the urn...
 

LR25

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I have done this with a 172.

Here are a couple thing to think of.

Undo the latch that holds the window at the 45 degree so you can open it up all the way.

Have someone in the back seat do the dumping, I had someone in the front seat do it, and we were getting real close to spreading some in the airplane. Not a good thing with the loved ones in the airplane with you.

Good luck.
 
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