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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, 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.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Grandfather They Only Thought They Knew


If you don’t ask questions, you won’t get answers



The Grandfather They Only Thought They KnewA few minutes ago, I finished reading an official document in which a gentleman I knew, a lawyer, had put himself up for questioning by another lawyer.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From The Editor: Spreading The Word




From The Editor: Spreading The WordWhile working on this month’s Guest Speaker column, Managing Editor Pam Lee suggested that the reference to Patty Wagstaff mention that the air show star performs annually in front of thousands of spectators. Hundreds of thousands, I countered.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Character Of Risk


No adventure is completely risk free



The Character Of RiskIt’s no news to most pilots that we recently lost Vicki Cruse, president of the International Aerobatic Club. What was almost certainly a control failure caught her in the worst possible position, and I can’t get her out of my mind.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Listen Up!


Bull sessions can sometimes impart valuable lessons



Listen Up!All of us will reach a stage in life when we’ve lost or are losing friends (as they slip away physically, mentally or both).
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Recession?


Oshkosh shows that passion trumps depression every time



What Recession?Is Oshkosh ever really over? It’ll be weeks, maybe months, before my mind catches up with my body.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Life Begins At 40


A lot of words have flowed across this page in the past four decades



Life Begins At 40As of June of this year, I’ve been cranking out this column for 40 years! These are words I never thought I’d hear coming out of my mouth.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Remembering Aviation


We often have to see through the eyes of an outsider to appreciate what we have



Remembering Aviation It’s interesting how we can become so close to aviation that, even though it’s fueled by passion, it takes a “civilian” to point out what a great privilege and joy it is to fly. A lot of us instructor types spend four or more hours a day in a cockpit, but we really don’t do much flying—mostly we’re riding and talking.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Harry


Some characters we simply remember; others leave an indelible mark



grassrootsAt the risk of making this page an obituary for passing friends, let me say this: There’s absolutely no way we can let the passing of Harry Shepard go without saying something, if not profound, at least irreverent. Because that was Harry—a little profound, a lot irreverent and massively talented.