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How this Czech daredevil raced to freedom

Hydroplane racer and stunt pilot Mira Slovak drives the Miss Bardahl.
Flickr Photo/Insomnia Cured Here (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/3aZ9C1
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Hydroplane racer and stunt pilot Mira Slovak drives the Miss Bardahl.

"In America, freedom is like air," said Czech daredevil Mira Slovak. That air was his element - he used it for work, for play, and to make his escape across the Iron Curtain to freedom.

Slovak's life as a stunt and commercial pilot, hydroplane racer, and beau of starlets was an extraordinary one. The Czech air force member turned defector (and CIA collaborator) made Seattle his home, racing here and even serving as the personal pilot to Bill Boeing.

David Williams, executive director of the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent, has just written a biography of Slovak called "Race to Freedom." He joined Ross Reynolds to tell some of the stories of a man larger than life.