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
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
Small airports have personalities that big ones can’t hope to match
Screen 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
Even Mother Nature can’t dampen the spirit of Oshkosh
Even 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
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?
I 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
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
I 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
Does 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
My 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
The 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
As 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
Anyone 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
A 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
While 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
It’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
Bull sessions can sometimes impart valuable lessons
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
Oshkosh shows that passion trumps depression every time
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
As 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
We often have to see through the eyes of an outsider to appreciate what we have
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
Some characters we simply remember; others leave an indelible mark