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Grassroots

Browse Grassroots, a collection of flying-related articles by Budd Davisson. An accomplished aviation journalist, Budd shares his perspective on  all kinds of flight-related subjects.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It’s The Little Stuff That Gets You


Everyone needs a wake-up call now and then



It’s The Little Stuff That Gets YouThe student was driving, and we had just been given clearance to take off.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Aviator Voice


Having “that” sound can’t be faked



The Aviator VoiceThe other day, as I was pushing my trusty mount out of the hangar, a pilot was having trouble getting a rental Cirrus back in the hangar next door, so I stopped and gave him a hand.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hallway Monitors


Do we really need tattletales in our midst?



Hallway MonitorsThe voice had a very indignant tone to it. As if the tower should pay special attention to everything he said.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Disappearing Airliners


The simplest solution is usually overlooked



Disappearing AirlinersOkay, I know that airliners spend a lot of their time being tracked on someone's radar scope and talking to ATC, so the assumption is that someone, somewhere knows exactly where they are at all times.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

And Life Goes On


People in our lives we don’t know but should



And Life Goes OnToday has been a hard one for those of us who follow history: First thing this morning, I learned that Alex Vraciu, America's highest-scoring surviving ace, had died.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

One Man’s Junk Is…


We all have junkyard dreams—or do we?



One Man’s Junk Is…My own airplane-in-a-barn story didn't involve a barn.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Too Late Gives No Warning


If you have dreams, put them into action today



Too Late Gives No WarningThey live their retirement dreams before retiring.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Heart Transplant


Overhauls, new sounds, the Old Gal labors on



Heart TransplantI've known for a while my engine wasn't totally happy.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Different Kind Of Calendar


Our year begins and ends in Wisconsin



A Different Kind Of CalendarIf, at any given time, there are around 200,000 people on the grounds at the Oshkosh orgy of aviation, then there are probably the same number of reasons why they're there.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sky King, Roy And The Gang


Was it a time of innocence or the formation of a generation?



Sky King, Roy And The GangIt doesn't seem that long ago that more than just the TV was black-and-white.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Minutia


The little stuff you pick up about aviation by living it



MinutiaAs the student settled into the back pit and started to put his headset on, I stopped him and took his baseball hat off his head.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Oh, No! Not More Changes!


There comes a time in life when status quo looks really attractive



Oh, No! Not More Changes!I first noticed it when one of our newer controllers, whose voice I didn't recognize, told us we were cleared for takeoff on Runway Tree. Tree? Huh!
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TFRs And The Little Guy


I’m not sure of their purpose, and “they” aren’t aware of the effects



TFRs And The Little GuyMy student was from England. The first hop of the day was normal: from calling ATIS to flying the flight, nothing unusual.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

When Is A Hobby Not A Hobby?


Regardless of how little a person flies, is it really a pastime?



When Is A Hobby Not A Hobby?Maybe it's a personal thing, but to apply the term "hobby" or "pastime" to flying sounds somehow demeaning.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Survivors In The Pattern


History is fleeting moments of the Human Experience strung together



Survivors In The PatternI had an emotionally wild and totally unexpected thing happen last week.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Nature’s Pilots


The Owl Tree and me



Nature’s PilotsI could see sky and roof line where they should have been hidden from sight by branches.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Av-World In Which We Live


Paul Poberezny, sport aviation and me



The Av-World In Which We LiveThe fact that we lost Paul Poberezny, founder of the EAA, in August is, by now, old news. Nonetheless, it's still important news to those of us who call sport aviation home.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Aerobatics, Judgment And Stupidity


All the FARs in the world can’t protect us from ourselves



Aerobatics, Judgment And StupidityA few minutes ago, I stumbled across a YouTube video of a Cirrus accident caused by attempting to do a roll at 200 feet.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oshkosh ‘13


The biggest or shiniest isn’t always the most amazing and impressive



Oshkosh ‘13For me, the most amazing thing about Oshkosh '13 (per usual, I can't bring myself to call it AirVenture) is that this was number 45 for me.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Maybe There’s Still Hope


Just because they’re young doesn’t mean they don’t have a passion for flight



Maybe There’s Still HopeOne of the more common conversations around the water cooler these days concerns our younger generations and how they have trouble seeing past their iPads and cell phones to the world beyond.