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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, March 6, 2012

On Getting Short


Gravity is the universal enemy in more ways than one



On Getting ShortGetting 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

Unplanned Obsolescence


Antiquity is strictly a point of view



Unplanned ObsolescenceEvery 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



Of Knowledge, Experience And RegulationsAt 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



Instructing The InstructorWhen 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



A Personal JourneyThe 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



Oshkosh By Any Other NameYeah, I know: It’s officially AirVenture. But to a lot of folks, the name just hasn’t clicked.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Critter Delays


No matter what man thinks, Ma Nature still calls the shots



Critter DelaysGulfstream Eight Charlie Charlie, go around. The airport is temporarily closed.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Aerial Recycling


An airliner in the backyard makes sense (almost)



Aerial RecyclingFor 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



Aerodromes And LongevityHave 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

Jack


Once in a lifetime, such a man comes to us



JackWe 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 Do It Because..."I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things."
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cub Butt


Aviation’s posterior-measuring system



Cub ButtThe contradictions between the Cirrus and my normal ride couldn’t have been more extreme if I had been in the space shuttle.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Glass Versus Grass(roots)


Mixing the extremes in aviation can be both fun and eye catching



Glass Versus Grass(roots)The contradictions between the Cirrus and my normal ride couldn’t have been more extreme if I had been in the space shuttle.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Screen Savers


Small airports have personalities that big ones can’t hope to match



Screen SaversScreen savers are a terrific invention—15-20 images of people, places and things that are dear to me rotate through mine like an automated scrapbook.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Remarkable People


Even Mother Nature can’t dampen the spirit of Oshkosh



Remarkable PeopleEven though it’s been a few months since coming home and unpacking, getting the Oshkosh adventure totally out of your head isn’t easy.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Aviation Without A Soundtrack?


One man’s noise is often another man’s music



Aviation Without A Soundtrack?The other day, I got yet another nastygram. This one from an individual who had read somewhere that my airplane has no mufflers.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our First Airplane


There’s only one “first...” or is there?



Our First AirplaneI was recently posed with a seemingly simple question: What was your first airplane?
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Good Old Boys Club...NOT!


Sometimes becoming one of the guys is easier than it looks



The Good Old Boys Club...NOT!Do you remember when life was slow enough that we used to sit around in front of the hangar, the sun making us feel like reptiles soaking up the warmth, before bundling ourselves into our respective flying machines to go test fate?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Courtesy Attitude


No one owns the sky, although some people think they do



The Courtesy AttitudeI don’t normally rant. But this might be an exception. Or at least I’ll clamber onto my ever-present soapbox to make a point.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Of Baby Girls & Aeroplanes­


Eventually, they all grow up, but you can still share the memories­



Of Baby Girls & Aeroplanes­Does your mind ever wander, unable to think about any one thing in particular? Instead, your thoughts are unfocused, and your mind is mentally channel-surfing, leafing through memories, lingering for a few seconds and then flipping to a new memory, a new thought.