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73-year-old man takes 'final trip' with his mom as he flies helicopter 3,000 miles to spread her ashes

He put his mom's ashes in a peanut butter jar before taking off on the journey.

73-year-old man takes 'final trip' with his mom as he flies helicopter 3,000 miles to spread her ashes
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Erich Karnberger

After his mother Marie passed away in November 2019, 73-year-old Andrew Greenhalgh decided to make one last trip with her. Just two months after receiving his helicopter license, he left Great Baddow, Essex, for an eight-day journey around the United Kingdom. He flew to the Shetland Islands, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, heading southward to Wales, the Scilly Isles, Cornwall and Jersey, dispersing his 95-year-old mom Marie's ashes along the coastal route. He always wanted to take his mother to new places on a final journey. Just before the pandemic, Andrew transported some of his mother's ashes to the Arctic Circle, where he was able to disperse them.

He had to put his mom's ashes in a peanut butter jar, as no other jar was available, he shared with DailyMail, adding, "My younger brother also isn't very well, he has cancer that can't be treated and he has said that he wants to go along with mum. He doesn't want to be in the same jar, he wants to be in a honey jar because he likes honey."



Andrew told Essex Live that he actually began his flying journey by learning gliding, an unpowered form of flight, and flew his glider all around Britain. But before long, he was eager to continue his exploration and travel to Europe; but, in order to do so, he needed to be able to pilot a powered plane, like a microlight. Andrew fell in love with the microlight aircraft and has flown "Rosa," his vivid red microlight, across Europe. Andrew said, "I used to commute in my microlight to Elstree and have fun lessons. And recently, not even two months ago, I obtained my helicopter license."



Andrew actually started learning how to fly a helicopter 20 months ago, when his 7-year-old grandson Arthur came to live with him. "My grandson came to live with me in lockdown, and one of his favorite programs was Helicopter ER. He thought it was great, and I thought there was no reason why I couldn't try to get my license. After the lockdown last year, I started to have lessons and got my license. I told the instructor and he didn't want me to do it and wanted to come with me, but I said no I want to do it on my own and I loved it," he shared.

Andrew immediately started making plans after he obtained his license for a comprehensive tour of Britain, starting at Elstree and traveling past Southend-on-Sea on the east coast to the north of Scotland. He had a long list of places he wanted to see on this journey, including the Shetland Islands, Northern Island, the Isle of Man, Wales, the Scilly Isles, Cornwall, and Jersey. His voyage was broken up into 19 separate flights, each landing in a different region of Britain where he visited friends and family or made new friends. "It's been a bit of an adventure," remarked Andrew. 


Andrew said of his trip, "I absolutely loved it. I was a bit disappointed when it was finished. I loved it." When asked what his mom would think of the trip, Andrew said, "She'd think it was great. She was always up for trying anything. So I know she'd be loving it the most."

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