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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 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.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Akro At The Beginning


Every Age is Golden if we’re lucky enough to be part of it



Akro At The BeginningThis is because I have yet to enter a decade that, in one way or another, wasn't a Golden Age, including this one.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Life Without An Address


Living the dreams that aviation makes possible



Life Without An AddressRecently, I asked the owner of an airplane for his physical address, and he said he didn't have one.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Of Crash Courses And Self-Discovery


Who knew there could be so much to learn in the game?



Of Crash Courses And Self-DiscoveryI've decided that I don't know a damn thing about airplanes and even less about flight instructing.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Who Was Lt. A. F. Linde?


Of history, estate sales, attics and kids



Who Was Lt. A. F. Linde?On the back of the sheath, it says, "A.F. Linde, O-930832." That was the pilot's name and service number.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

And Speaking Of Power


When a Hornet taxis by your home airport



And Speaking Of PowerLast week, one of those moments had me trying to fish my phone out from under my five-point harness—and failing.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Wanna Build...


Sometimes, the dream is more valuable than the reality



I Wanna Build...All of us have curious habits that we'd just as soon have no one know about.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Warbirds And Me


On being the right age, in the right place, at the right time



Warbirds And MeDoes any one actually not like warbirds?
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Career Change


What do you do when you find your ladder is against the wrong wall?



A Career ChangeHere's an interesting question that popped up recently: In what do you invest a life and call it a wise investment?
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dead Reckoning Or Pilotage?


Life isn’t a destination. It’s a series of checkpoints.



Dead Reckoning Or Pilotage?Before GPS revolutionized just about everything, most of us old-timey pilot types used either dead reckoning or pilotage (and some of us still do).
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trusting Souls


The heaviest load in aviation is flying someone else’s airplane



Trusting SoulsWe're about to do some hangar flying under the guise of talking about some of the most trusting people I've ever met in my life.