Paul refueling the Cessna 185 at Bettles.
Paul and Mabel with Brandy at Iniakuk Lake.
Wings Over Wilderness: Adventures of Alaska Bush Pilot Paul Shanahan, chronicles the flying life and Alaska bush experiences of a mild-mannered expert pilot who was "just doing my job," as he puts it today.
Paul came to Alaska over fifty years ago and began his flying career in Anchorage within a few years of his arrival. The ensuing years were spent doing what budding pilots only dream of and those with a fear of flying use to justify their reluctance to defy gravity. Never a daredevil, nevertheless, Paul's vocation required him to push the limits of his ability and the capabilities of the numerous aircraft he put to the proverbial test servicing the people who chose to live in the remote bush country of what was then only a territory. His was not the typical flying career. Through weather that would ground ducks and storms that chilled him and his machines, Paul "did his job" with the best of them. There are people today who owe their lives to the fact that Paul Shanahan happened to be the one who showed up to help in a desperate situation. He explains that other pilots have done the same things and that is true. They should write books.
From the opening chapter, a story of a serious incident that left him stranded for days in a dangerous predicament, to the last episode of the huge grizzly demanding access to his home miles north of the Arctic Circle, you will enjoy the stories of this unassuming man with the unusual lifestyle. His wife Mabel, an Eskimo born in a tent on the Koyukuk River, lends a warmth to Paul's adventures that only someone who knows him like she does could do.