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News Release

Release #01.06
January 30, 2001

Media Advisory

ALPA to Commemorate Crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261

SEATTLE – On the first anniversary of the Alaska Airlines Flight 261 accident – January 31, 2001 – the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) will commemorate this tragedy at a special ceremony in Seattle. At the event, the pilots of Flight 261 – Capt. Ted Thompson and First Officer Bill Tansky – will be honored posthumously by ALPA’s president, Capt. Duane Woerth, with the Association’s Gold Medal for Heroism – the highest honor bestowed upon an Association member.

"Capt. Thompson and First Officer Tansky were airline pilots of the highest caliber, and are absolutely deserving of the Gold Medal for Heroism for demonstrating their bravery and skill, and for maintaining their composure under extremely challenging and dire circumstances." Capt. Woerth said. "The investigation into the cause of the crash of Alaska Flight 261 has proven that these gentlemen did everything possible to try to save the lives of the passengers and crew aboard their ill-fated flight, and, remarkably, also considered the welfare of the residents on the ground. Capt. Thompson and First Officer Tansky will always be remembered as true American heroes."

Capt. Woerth will present the Gold Medal for Heroism to the families of Capt. Thompson and First Officer Tansky at the DoubleTree Hotel (SeaTac Airport), beginning at 12:00 noon. Other dignitaries, including government officials, are expected to attend the ceremony, along with Alaska Airlines pilots, flight attendants, and other company employees.

Formed in 1931, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilots union, representing 59,000 airline pilots at 49 carriers in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA Web site at http://cf.alpa.org.

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ALPA Contact: Tara Elkins (206) 241-3138