Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does a final flight cost?
The price varies, so please click here take a look at our packages.

2. How soon after my loved one's cremation can you arrange a final flight?
As soon as you would like to, and we can agree a date and a location. Similarly, there are no time restrictions on how long you can wait to scatter through a final flight. It can be done when you're ready.

3. How high will the final flight be?
Most drop zones will fly to 12,000 feet, and that's where we'll exit the plane to begin the final flight. We'll free-fall for about 10 seconds while the cameraman gets into position, and that means we'll begin the release at about 10,000 feet.

4. What distance do the scattered ashes cover?
The distance any ashes travel is determined by wind speeds and direction. These vary at different altitudes from hour to hour and day to day, so it's difficult to say precisely. Theoretically, with no inclement weather or high winds (which is virtually unheard of), ashes are thought to be distributed across approximately 15 square miles. Stronger winds will carry ashes much further. And we know that some ash will never touch the ground again as it will be carried on the upper winds.

5. How do I get the ashes of our loved one to you?
The easiest way is to bring them with you on the day of the final flight. Sending them beforehand is difficult but not impossible. Human remains in any form are uninsurable, and so most couriers in the UK will not carry them. However, there's one specialist courier in the UK who we're aware of who will carry them and we can put you in touch with them if this interests you. Unfortunately, we can't offer to collect them from you ourselves, because we wouldn't be insured to carry them to the drop zone.

6. What will I be able to see of the final flight from the ground?
What you see really depends on the weather. On a clear day, seeing the aircraft at 12,000 feet with binoculars is easy, and with direction from the Your Wings representative, you'll be able to see as much of the skydive as possible from the ground. Once the ashes have been scattered onto the wind you'll then watch the team descend, land and come back to the control tower. Obviously, cloud will be the main obstruction and that is sadly beyond our control.

7. What happens if a change in the weather means the final flight can't happen?
It's common for the UK weather to change without much warning. However, our experience in these situations means we can predict ahead of time and give you as much notice as possible. A week before the final flight we start tracking long range weather forecasts from the MET office. We will follow the forecast and contact you the day before the final flight to either confirm our plans or to reschedule for another day.

8. Is scattering human remains safe?
Human remains have been scattered across the world for many years in various locations, and in various ways. In the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environmental Agency have clear guidelines on scattering human ashes. Click here to download. The guidance they give is that while it's perfectly fine to scatter human ashes, there could be environmental impacts if the ashes are concentrated in one area due to the high mineral content. So the guidance is to try to avoid that. We offer a service which will scatter ashes over the largest area possible with the prospect that those ashes never reach back down to earth. We believe this means a lower environmental impact.

9. How do you release the ashes during the skydive?
After you arrive at the drop zone, and you're ready to entrust your loved one's ashes to us, we'll transfer them into a secure release pod that's safe to be used during a skydive. This pod has been specifically designed to attach securely to the skydiver throughout the final flight. We have to use this pod, and no other container, because no skydiver can leave a plane with an article of clothing or apparatus that isn't securely attached to them. The Civil Aviation Authority clearly state that nothing can be dropped from an aircraft. This is for the safety of anyone on the ground, because if something, even as small as a pair of glasses, were to fall from 12,000 feet, they would cause significant damage to whatever or whomever they landed on. And so we can only use our approved release pods, securely attached to our parachutists, to release your loved one's ashes on to the wind.

10. What should I wear to the drop zone?
The short answer is to wear comfortable clothes, and dress according to the weather. You'll be outside for a while if you want to watch the final flight from the ground, and that could mean sunshine, showers, wind or cloud. On a sunny day you'll need sun protection and maybe even a sun hat. It's always wise to bring an umbrella. And you'll need sunglasses on any type of day, because even staring up into a cloudy sky can feel very bright.

11. What should I bring to the drop zone?
It's difficult to say how long you'll be there as we're so dependent on the weather, so bring whatever you need to be comfortable. Most drop zones have tea and coffee facilities, and some have limited in-house catering. So Your Wings always brings along a sandwich lunch for you all on the day, just please remember to let us know about any dietary requirements or allergies. Also, some drop zones are controlled by the military, so you'll need to bring a photographic form of id to sign in at the gate. A Your Wings representative will meet you there and guide you through this quick but necessary security step.

12. How long will it take me to get to the drop zone?
It depends which drop zone you choose and where you're travelling from. Well in advance of the day we'll talk to you about your travel plans to make sure you're happy with how to get there.

13. How long will I be at the drop zone?
It's difficult to say because of weather, aircraft availability, or other aviation related restrictions. We usually plan the final flight during the morning, but the timing can be affected by all of those things. Having a tandem passenger as part of the final flight could also mean you're at the drop zone longer. All of these aspects are why we arrange someone to welcome you on arrival at the drop zone, organise refreshments for you, and then stay with you until after the final flight. As a guide, we suggest planning to be at the drop zone for anything between two to six hours.

14. Who can I bring with me to the drop zone?
You can bring anyone who wants to join you, you just need to give us their names. If you choose a military drop zone for the final flight, you'll have to give us the names of all visitors in advance because we need to give them notice. You'll also need to bring photographic ID for yourself and everyone else you bring. A Your Wings representative will meet you and settle you in at the drop zone. We'll then chaperone you to a viewing area where you can meet the parachutist(s) and cameraman who will take the ashes on their final flight.

15. How many people can I bring to witness the final flight?
In most cases, there isn't a limit on the number of people who can come to the drop zone for the final flight. However, if you chose a military drop zone we have to agree your party size with them in advance of the day itself.

16. I'm a fully qualified skydiver. Can I accompany the final flight as well?
In principle, we're happy to have you join the final flight. If you're correctly licensed to skydive in the UK and have in-date skydive equipment, we can definitely talk to you about it. The final decision is made by the drop zone as they're ultimately responsible for everyone's safety in the air.

17. What happens if there's an accident with the plane that my final flight ashes are on?
As with most things, there are risks with airbourne activity including parachuting. If there's an emergency situation and we can't scatter your loved one's ashes when we planned to, we'll work with you to arrange a new time that's right for you – hopefully the same day. The safety of our staff is always paramount, especially our parachutists and cameramen. We will not participate in any final flight if we feel the risk is too high. And if by some freak accident, the ashes are accidentally dispersed without recording, we are sad to say we are truly sorry for this happening but we can't accept responsibility for accidents.

18. How long will I have to wait for the DVD of the final flight?
We commit to send the DVD of the final flight to you within 14 days. But we can only meet this promise if you let us have the few bits of information we need to pull it together. They are: choice of music for the video; copies of any favourite photos or home movies of your loved one, and funny anecdotes or sayings you want included in the video.

19. Is the music on my final flight DVD licensed?
Yes it is. We purchase a Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) licence specifically for your DVD.

20. How many copies of the final flight DVD can I have?
You can have up to five copies, each set in a lovely presentation box, and sent by recorded delivery to any UK address at a cost of £13.99 each. If you want more than five copies, the cost will be higher because of music licensing cost structures that are beyond our control. We also promise to archive a copy of the DVD for two years after the final flight, as a back-up for you.

21. What does free-fall feel like?
Free-fall is hard to describe and those who have experienced it would probably each describe it differently. Strictly speaking it's the moment you're falling from the aircraft and before you're under a parachute. You may hear the word 'terminal velocity' in relation to free-fall. This is the phrase that describes the moment where your body can't fall any faster, which is approximately 120mph (although that differs depending on the size and shape of the person). For us at Your Wings, free-fall is the ultimate freedom, when you get to see the world from above. It's a moment of being scared of heights but realising there's nothing to fear. It's the feeling of total weightlessness and the closest to flying you will ever get. And sharing that feeling with others is one of the reasons we set up Your Wings.

22. What happens if I choose a military drop zone and the security level goes up so I can't gain access on the day of the final flight?
Your Wings will be notified by any military drop zone should the security level go up and our access be restricted. In this instance, we are really very sorry, but we can't accept responsibility as it's beyond our control. We'll contact you as soon as we're notified and work with you to re-arrange to either another location or to a later date at the same location when the security level has been lowered.