I have developed and operated my Angels Away service in the UK for around 5 years now and brought many happy conclusions to peoples’ loved ones funeral ashes. Each has been unique, well received, emotionally charged and on the odd occasion made me weep with the others but only after the event.
Many enquiries have been received from around the country including a few from overseas to spread loved ones’ ashes over areas in the UK where they played as a young persons or favoured. Out of these a large number has not been finalised for whatever reason, costs, permissions, family differences etc, I don’t know but respect their decisions. However there is only one decision which I and others objected to. This was that of a young murder victim’s family wishing my service for their son (victim) over a League listed football pitch. Permission had initially been given and even extended some after event catering. It was whilst making suitable arrangements the club pulled out without explanation.
Out of the many done, few have consented for it to be shared on this website or social media associated with Angels Away. For these I am truly grateful and honoured.
I appreciate that folk do not know the amount of work that has gone into providing my service. Firstly there’s the design and production of the body shell, the trials and enhancements to the mechanics to carry the weight and then the enhanced avionics in the interests of safety. Logs are now required for all flights made and detailed ones in particular for the Angels Away models. Hours are spent in pre-event (fully loaded) training flights, the partial dismantling, inspection and reassembly of the model on the day before the event. The drive, area assessment, discussion, safety briefing, flight and the drive home adds up to a very long, emotional and tiring day.
With the ongoing problem (and thoughts of recovering the vast cost involved) EASA and the CAA have created in relation to drones in what should be an easy solution – recognised flying model aircraft and others, fees have gone up dramatically. It is getting to that time where my annual certification from the Civil Aviation Authority needs renewing (December) at a cost of £190. Add to this my 13 pages of Operations Manual which will need updating to incorporate all the latest changes and 2 new sections covering a: the models and b: survey/risk assessments means a lot of computer time. To add insult to injury a further charge has now been made (costs recovery) of a further £124 per read requiring amendment. My last Ops Manual was approved on its third submission
Now that I’m at bus pass age I am considering the future and would welcome any comments you wish to make.
Angels Away was never created to be profitable but to give a unique service to families and friends and the most appropriate or best send off possible for their loved one’s funeral ashes. My thoughts have always been, “we are part of a really unique and spectacular event” and “if they were looking down on us, it would be with a tear of joy in their eyes”
The real questions now are “is it worth all that trouble?” and “is there anyone else to carry on with my Service”?
To the best of my knowledge there is only one other person on the planet that provides my service. He operates from the Gold Coast in Australia, will not travel, charges approx. 500% more than myself and the last time I looked his vehicle can be best described as a small oil rig platform with props on top and a large box under it.
To assist with my decision, I would appreciate any comments or thoughts to reach me via the email link appearing at the bottom of the page please.
And on that note I’ll finish and await responses
28th September 2019
21st December 2019
Following enquiries made I have decided not to renew my authority with the Civil Aviation Authority,
It has been suggested that in June 2020, the laws are being changed and works in our favour as my service is not one where data (imagery) is being collected. This would then mean that there will be no requirement to have permission from them. The only knock back pending this change is that I will not be charging for the flight which included on the day insurance.
Travelling expenses, at £0.25 per mile each way, and extra on the day insurance (£11) cannot be avoided and should be paid in advance
Should folk wish to make a donation on the day towards the upkeep of the model will then this would be thankfully taken.