FAA administrator attends memorial for workers killed in October crash

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Federal Aviation Administrator Jane Garvey traveled to Anchorage Thursday for a memorial service to honor two FAA workers killed in the line of duty.

Joyce Tucker of Anchorage and Ronald Frizzell of Wasilla were killed when the helicopter they were riding in crashed into Cook Inlet Oct. 18. The two had performed work on navigation and communication aids on Fire Island and were returning to Anchorage when the chopper went down. Era Aviation pilot Bob Larson also was killed. Two other FAA workers survived the crash.

''In a very real sense, they understood what public service is all about,'' Garvey told about 200 FAA workers and family members who had gathered at the Kincaid Park chalet, overlooking Cook Inlet.

''On that day they went to work as they always did,'' she said. ''They performed work with meaning, something we all long to do.''

Garvey said it was important not only to grieve the loss of the two, but also to celebrate their professionalism and dedication to their jobs. And she thanked the hundreds of FAA technicians who travel to remote locations around the state to maintain the air traffic system.

For Garvey, the brief trip to Alaska marked one of the few times she's left Washington, D.C. since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Two other FAA workers who died on the job were also remembered at the ceremony. Daniel Truesdell died in a mid-air collision over Juneau May 30, 1998, and William Bull suffered a fatal heart attack Jan. 20, 2000, while working in Homer.

Flags were presented to Ronald Frizzell's wife, Georgianna, and to Joyce Tucker's partner, Fred Sam.

''Our most recent loss was the toughest yet,'' said Denny Powell, manager of airway facilities for the FAA's Alaska region.

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