Why choose cremation over traditional funeral services and in-ground burial?

People choose cremation for both personal and economic reasons. Personal reasons may include religious beliefs or a desire for their remains to be returned to nature. Economic reasons include the fact that cremation costs a fraction of a traditional funeral and in-ground burial and offers many more choices for final disposition of cremated remains (ashes). Traditional in-ground burial offers only approved burial plots or mausoleum spaces for final disposition, and uses millions of tons of wood, metal, and concrete ever year while tying up thousands of acres of land. Embalmed remains leach thousands of gallons of formaldehyde into the ground. Cremation is environmentally friendly by saving materials and land, and the cremated remains are sterile, having no effect on the environment. Ashes scattered aerially float gracefully down to the earth from which they came. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Is it legal to scatter ashes over land or water?

Yes, it is legal to scatter over most federal, state, local, and private lands and waters, with prior written permission and within FAA minimum altitude restrictions. The only locations specifically not available at this time are those within the borders of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to noise restrictions of overflying aircraft. We must be able to identify the scattering location, and land size restrictions do apply. We have GPS navigation that can find specific coordinates.

Is it safe to scatter cremated remains by airplane?

The EPA has determined that aerial ash scattering is safe and has no effect on the environment. The high temperature of cremation sterilizes the ashes, and when released by plane they are spread out over a large enough area that there is no noticeable concentration, unlike a water or land scattering. Aerial ash scattering is an environmentally friendly way to conserve land resources and a great way to honor your loved one's memory.

Why scatter ashes by air?

You have more locations to choose from when scattering by air, such as remote locations that would take days to hike to. Ashes scattered from a boat immediately start sinking to the bottom, and water locations are much fewer than those accessible by air. When scattered by air, some ashes begin to descend, others stay aloft, floating on the wind. For loved ones remaining, the memorial becomes not a marker in a cemetery, but their loved one's memory from the scattering location.  

How do you disperse the ashes from the plane?

We fly classic Beechcraft V-tail Bonanzas and disperse the ashes from a proprietary device which exits outside the airplane, resulting in a very dignified and respectful release. Click HERE for a picture. Click HERE for a video of a release.

How do I arrange for you to scatter ashes and get them to you?

Please refer to our MAKE ARRANGEMENTS page.

How much does it cost to scatter ashes by airplane? How do we pay?

Please refer to our MAKE ARRANGEMENTS page. Payment is accepted by check or money order in US funds.

What documentation do you need in order to scatter cremated remains?

Scattering cremated remains from an airplane is a final and irreversible act. In order to comply with government regulations and show a chain of custody we need to be able to provide documentation that the remains we scatter were legally cremated and that we have legal permission to scatter them. Thus, we request copies of the top half of the DEATH CERTIFICATE and PERMIT FOR CREMATION OF HUMAN REMAINS (or your state's equivalent), which show that the deceased was legally cremated, and a signed copy of our AUTHORIZATION TO SCATTER CREMATED REMAINS in which the legal guardian of those remains gives us permission to scatter them.

Can ashes be sent from outside of Tennessee?

Yes. You will follow the same procedure as that used inside the state of Tennessee and provide the same documentation. The Postal Service can assist you with the shipping.   Please see the MAKE ARRANGEMENTS page.

Are you licensed and insured?

We use FAA commercial pilots and an observer, and we have $1,000,000 liability insurance.

How long until you scatter the ashes?

Unless a specific release date is chosen, the ashes will be scattered as soon as possible with regards to weather, maintenance, permits, etc.

How do I know the scattering is completed?

We will contact you to let you know the scattering is complete, and we will send you a memorial certificate with the date, location, and signatures of the pilot and witness. We also record it in our flight log.

Can I ride along during the scattering?

Unfortunately, no. Our plane only seats two and we aren't licensed or insured to carry passengers. We can make arrangements for you to view the scattering from the ground, or we may be able to "fly by" you enroute to the scattering.

Can I make a special request? What if I have a question not answered here?

We will try to honor all requests, though it may affect the listed pricing. Please ask any question you may have, we are happy to answer it. We can be contacted via phone, text, fax, or e-mail.

Can I pre-plan for the dispersion of my ashes?

Yes, this is an excellent (but non-binding with Smoky Mountain Scatterings) way to voice your wishes. It will ease the bereavement process for your loved ones because they will know what your wishes are and how to accomplish them.  
Do you scatter ashes of pets?

Yes, we do. The process is the same as for a human scattering, but please note the reduce rate. Please refer to our MAKE ARRANGEMENTS page.

                                                    
                                                   

                                                    phone: 865-719-3260, fax: 888-296-9108

                                                    smokymountainscatterings@yahoo.com
dignified, respectful aerial release of ashes
Smoky Mountain Scatterings