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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, 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.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Plastic Pilot License


They may be more practical, but some of us miss the paper ones



Plastic Pilot LicenseMy new plastic pilot license showed up in the mail the other day, and this is what I think: I don’t like it.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Favorite Aviation Moments


The air up there



Favorite Aviation MomentsThe other day, I made one of those “out in the morning/back in the afternoon drives” to Los Angeles for lunch with my daughter.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fear & Preparedness


Being concerned is only logical, but we can’t let that rule our lives



Fear & PreparednessAs he sat in my office and we prepared to leave for the airport after three hours of ground school, he hesitated for a moment, locked eyes with me and said, “Look, I have to tell you something.”
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Science, The Art, The Realities


Perfect airplanes usually exist only in the eye of the beholder



The Science, The Art, The RealitiesAnyone who has flown for more than 10 minutes has developed an idea of what defines the perfect airplane.