Mudhole Smith, Alaska Flier

[IMAGE] From Barnstormer to Bush Pilot

He began flying as a Kansas barnstormer, battling such tribulations as cows who decided to graze on the fabric of an airplane wing... went on to the rugged bush of Alaska, where perfection in flying is almost a necessity for survival; and ended up in the Aviation Pioneers Hall of Fame. And in between, Merle "Mudhole" Smith became an aviation legend.

This is the story of a man - of a flier who dreamed about planes from his childhood - who molded his life into the dream he wanted to live. From his homemade planes in the Midwest, to the company of some of Alaska's most famous bush pilots and on to fame as one of the North Country's true aviation pioneers.

Merle Smith logged some 22,000 hours in the air - and he'd taught himself to fly! Alaska historian Lone Janson weaves the humor and real drama of Smith's days in Alaska - everything from providing air service to remote villages, spotting enemy submarines during World War II and even losing power on his aircraft, only to land on top of his friend's planes.

Alaskana, adventure, aviation: It's all here, and it's all true, in the almost typical Alaska fact that so often reads like great fiction! Mudhole Smith - a pioneer in the true sense of the word!

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