Out In A Puff Of Smoke

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Sometimes the dearly departed simply won't leave. And when you're trying to scatter their ashes from an airplane, that can be an embarrassing, not to mention messy, problem with a much less romantic and symbolic outcome than planned. "The poor departed one generally ends up inside a vacuum cleaner rather than the clean air round an airplane," said Jim McTaggart, a British pilot who's invented a couple of devices to tidy up the process, but not necessarily make it more gentle. McTaggart's first system is a relatively simple compressed gas cylinder that blows the ashes clear of the currents swirling around the airframe in a perfect puff of dust. He's already used it for friends and family. But he's more excited about his latest system, which suspends the earthly remains in an air show smoke system. "I think it's rather touching, a beautiful aeroplane and the symbolic trail of smoke." If you'd like to be similarly dissipated, prices start at about $1,100 USD.