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, November 6, 2012
Dead Reckoning Or Pilotage?
Life isn’t a destination. It’s a series of checkpoints.
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
The heaviest load in aviation is flying someone else’s airplane
We'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.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Of Porta-Potties And Fields of Yellow
Oshkosh—the event never fails to amuse, confound and surprise
No, let me amend that: It was my 41st to Oshkosh, plus three to Rockford, the last home of the EAA's yearly orgy of all things aerial and wondrous.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Gettin’ In Dance
You can’t fly ‘em, if you can’t get in ‘em
However, it often appears as if the most "interesting" vehicles require the most difficult dance moves to get into them.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
They only die when we let them
I just discovered an important fact of life: dreams don't die.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
It’s More Than Just An N-Number
Renaming our kids and our airplanes doesn’t always work
The other day at the hangar, we were talking about how many times I've rebuilt my airplane: twice for the engine, twice for the fuselage and once for the rest of the airframe, which included re-cover and painting.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Aviation In The Key Of Gee Whiz
Getting a buzz out of life is easy
The other day, we were discussing magazines, writing, flying and other major food groups of life, and I referred to the kind of wordsmithing I've always done as "Gee-Whiz Journalism."
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Don’t even try to explain it
I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing, but a couple of months ago, I hit 5,000 hours of Pitts dual-given (most of it in the pattern).
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
On Getting Short
Gravity is the universal enemy in more ways than one
Getting short" is a familiar old military term: You're coming to the end of your deployment or enlistment, and you don't have much time left before your life will be drastically altered.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Antiquity is strictly a point of view
Every so often, something will happen that reaches out and raps you in the noggin, and makes you realize how fast time is ripping past. And how quickly something that's familiar and simply secondhand to you becomes exotic and antique to a new generation.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Of Knowledge, Experience And Regulations
Going to school doesn’t necessarily make you smarter
At the time this was being written, word was circulating within the aviation community that as the result of the Colgan airline crash in 2009, the FAA is probably going to place new experience requirements on airline copilot new hires.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Instructing The Instructor
Ten things every instructor learns, whether he wants to or not
When you're a flight instructor, you're a combination shrink, drill sergeant, mother confessor and cheerleader; and, if you're a good instructor, you quickly realize that the act of instructing is teaching you more than you're teaching the student.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
A Personal Journey
This thank-you was a long time coming
The green fields, most looking as if you could land a 747 on them, stretched off into the distance, where they became low, gently rolling hills.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Oshkosh By Any Other Name
Of damp dogs, wet aviators and rained-on cowboy hats
Yeah, I know: It’s officially AirVenture. But to a lot of folks, the name just hasn’t clicked.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
No matter what man thinks, Ma Nature still calls the shots
Gulfstream Eight Charlie Charlie, go around. The airport is temporarily closed.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
An airliner in the backyard makes sense (almost)
For the last six months or so, every time we'd taxi out, my eyes would drift to one end of the jet ramp, and linger on a Falcon 10 that has been there for quite a while.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Aerodromes And Longevity
A trip to the airport is good for what ails you
Have you ever stood around the airport or at a fly-in, looked at some of your higher-mileage friends, and realized that even the gray dogs in the crowd act and look 15 years younger than you know them to be?
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Once in a lifetime, such a man comes to us
We were somewhere in the middle of the desert heading for my daughter's when my cell phone rang.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I Do It Because...
Explaining why we fly isn't simple
"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things."
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Aviation’s posterior-measuring system
The contradictions between the Cirrus and my normal ride couldn’t have been more extreme if I had been in the space shuttle.