Post office in Frisco will be renamed after fallen Flight for Life pilot Patrick Mahany
Patrick Mahany, the Flight For Life pilot who died in the line of duty in Frisco in 2015, will soon be immortalized in the town he served so well. Late last week, the federal government passed a law which will rename the U.S. post office in Frisco as “The Patrick E. Mahany, Jr., Post Office Building,” in tribute to Mahany’s decades of civilian service to Frisco and military service to the country during the Vietnam War.
The post office renaming was one of the last acts of the fractured federal government before Christmas recess and during the year’s third government shutdown. With quiet and rare consensus, the Mahany bill passed both houses of Congress unanimously. Rep. Jared Polis introduced the bill, H.R.6831, in late September with the backing of every member of the Colorado congressional delegation. It was signed into law by President Trump this past Sunday.
“Patrick Mahany was a dedicated public servant, as a veteran and emergency helicopter pilot,” Polis said in a press release announcing the renaming. “He gave so much to his community, and I am so pleased that we are moving forward on naming the Frisco post office after him. Community members like him should be forever cherished and publicly commemorated.”
Mahany died when the Flight For Life helicopter he was piloting, responding to a call on July 3, 2015, suffered mechanical failure at liftoff and crashed into the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center parking lot in Frisco. The crash resulted in a fire that claimed Mahany’s life and severely injured the two flight nurses on board, Dave Repsher and Matt Bowe. Mahany is survived by wife Karen and three children, Kathleen Celeste, Shawna Suzanne and son Ryan Patrick.
“Patrick loved this nation and was proud to have served in Vietnam as a scout helicopter pilot,” Karen Mahany said in the press release. “I know Patrick would have been humbled beyond belief to have a U.S. Postal Office named in his honor, especially in the community that he served for over 27 years with Flight For Life. I know Patrick is smiling down from heaven today.”
The post office renaming is the second federal law passed this year inspired by Mahany. A critical piece of helicopter safety legislation, the Helicopter Fuel System Safety Act, was signed into law as part of the FAA reauthorization bill this summer.
The law, which was introduced by Reps. Polis and Ed Perlmutter as a direct response to Mahany’s death, will require newly manufactured civilian helicopters to be built with crash-resistant fuel systems. It closed a loophole that allowed manufacturers to install flimsy plastic fuel tanks on helicopters, even new ones. The almost brand-new helicopter Mahany was piloting had these tanks installed. They ruptured immediately upon impact and started a fire that killed Mahany and severely injured Repsher and Bowe.
To incentivize helicopter manufacturers to retrofit existing civilian rotorcraft, Polis and Perlmutter also introduced the Safe Helicopters Now Act in September. The bill would give helicopter manufacturers a tax credit for retrofitting existing emergency helicopters with hardened fuel systems.
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