How it Works

Ascension Scattering is available to families everywhere.  The process is easy and only requires you to perform the following steps:

  1. Using the “Contact Us” link on this website, let us know you want to arrange a service.  We will send you authorization documents and directions on how to package, label and ship the ashes via registered USPS.
  2. Send us the cremated remains and the completed authorization via registered mail to Aerial Tribute in Boulder, Colorado.  (For shipment from countries outside the U.S., contact Inman Shipping Worldwide for shipment from anywhere in the world by experienced professionals.)
  3. Your payment will be charged to your credit card.  (If, for any reason, you change your mind before the scattering, your payment is fully refundable prior to Ascension Scattering.)

That’s all you need to do.  Once received, the cremated remains are processed into a fine powder and stored securely.  An Ascension Scattering flight is scheduled when aviation soaring forecasts call for strong “thermal” updrafts over the Rocky Mountains.  During summer months, this usually occurs in a matter of weeks.  At other times, it may take longer before suitable conditions occur.

The cremated remains are loaded on board the sailplane.  The pilot then launches from the Denver area and soars throughout an extensive search area seeking the strongest possible lift.  Upon finding a powerful thermal, the pilot releases the cremated remains.  At first, they stay in a concentrated “puff”.  In less than a minute, the “puff” dissipates and particles are drawn upward with the rising air, some reaching the high altitude jet streams where some of the particles are carried worldwide.

The family receives details documentation in the form of an Ascension Scattering Certificate with information derived from the Flight Data Recorder showing the precise location of the release point, altitude of release and vertical speed of the rising column of air at the time of release.  The release may also be documented by video taken from the glider and narrated by the pilot.