Nova Scotia

Son to spread father's ashes from model plane

A Bedford man is honouring his father's dying wish, to scatter his ashes from a remote controlled model plane.
Mike Whitelaw said his love of model planes came from his late father. ((CBC))
A Bedford man is honouring his father's dying wish to scatter his ashes from a remote controlled model plane.

Whitelaw's passion for flying remote controlled airplanes came from his father.

"I think he got more joy out of watching me take to it and really fall in love with it as much as himself flying," said Whitelaw.

Kevin, Whitelaw's father, died in December, he was 80.

"He said to me that he'd love to go up in this plane and have his ashes spread all over Margaree which he thought was God's country," said Whitelaw. "I said we'll do it."

But it's not as simple as blowing dust in the wind. Mike Whitelaw had to come up with a creative solution.

For this dream to take flight, Whitelaw modified his cherished J-3 Cub model plane.
Kevin Whitelaw's ashes will be spread from his son's J-3 Cub model plane. ((CBC))

A homemade contraption will release his father's ashes into the air with parts purchased at the hardware store, including a toilet plunger.

"The physics of the air passing through and blowing the ashes out, that's a big of a challenge, but it seems to be working on the ground."

To test it out, he needed a substitute for ashes.

"What we found was similar was actually a combination of oats and kitty litter. Not to be too morbid, but it simulates the consistency of ashes."

However unusual, Whitelaw said it's a work of love.

"I think he'd very proud that we're doing this and he'd have a good laugh over the whole story of the plunger."

This coming weekend at the Margaree Valley air strip, he will fly the plane about 150 metres into the air, his sister will throw the switch and their father's final wish will come true.

"I think he'd be really happy. Hopefully he's looking down and is happy and hopefully it will go well."