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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Landing Pitts

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Landing Pitts


Thread: [Acro] Re: Landing Pitts

Message: [Acro] Re: Landing Pitts

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From: Budd Davisson <buddairbum at>

Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 01:06:14 UTC


  I'm flattered. AND I didn't pay him to write that.


John Wieckowski wrote:

> Hi to All,
> This piece is for those of you who are at the beginning of the aerobatic
> journey.
> After about 1200 flying hours, about half of them in tail-wheel airplanes (I
> own and fly Cessna 180), I considered myself a reasonably experienced and
> well versed pilot. I found out otherwise by attempting to tackle the world
> of aerobatics.  I had Pitts "on my brains" and I thought that a good place
> to start would be to find out what it is that people are saying about
> landing the Pitts.
> After seeing Budd Davisson's ads and reading his pieces in "Plane & Pilot,"
> among other place, at the end of March, I found myself in Phoenix AZ signed
> up for his Pitts landing lessons and for his "Bed & breakfast" venture.
> Well,  it definitely was an eyes opening experience. After the first hour I
> concluded that I must have been delusional thinking that I can fly.
> The principle of what he teaches is rather simple: you fly the pattern close
> to the runway, do not line up with the runway, but instead, you fly towards
> the number at 35 degrees at the pattern altitude. You keep the numbers in
> sight and when they start moving under your fuselage you reduce a power and
> start a slip in order to continue seeing  the numbers. At this point you go
> down like the proverbial manhole cover until you can trade the sight of the
> numbers for the sight of runway edges on both sides of the cowling. This
> seems to be about 10 feet above the ground.
> It is definitely easier said then done. All of you guys who are flying
> Pitts1s and Extras do not need to read this. But, those of you who grew up
> with Cessnas, Aeroncas and Citabrias are definitely up for a surprise. These
> small airplanes with big engines are a different animal. Everything is
> exaggerated, everything happens fast, and in addition you cannot see
> anything up front which is a main factor which you have to accommodate your
> flying technique.
> The amount of time you have in "regular" airplanes is of little help. Budd
> says that he cannot find much difference between the thousands hours airline
> captain, and a 100 hours C-150 student. Everybody1s eyeballs bug out after
> the first hour or two, and it takes about 8 hours of his instructions to get
> your eyes back in the sockets. Then you will start feeling reasonable in the
> air again.  In summary, if you are used to seeing the runway in front of
> your airplane, go fly with Budd - you have a lot to learn.
> There are other benefits to this experience. One is the benefit of spending
> time with Budd Davisson. You probably already know that he writes articles
> for a number of aviation magazines. He also writes novels, plays guitar,
> restores old cars, builds black powder rifles, makes part of his living in
> computer graphics, photography, produces an airplane kit (Bearhawk), and the
> list goes on. You want to have and interesting conversation- talk with Budd-
> on any subject. Rides to the airport are a treat. He is a walking
> encyclopedia of aviation. I could spend a month just conversing with Budd,
> and we probably would not even start solving the world's problems.
> Then there is the subject of bed and breakfast- an understatement supreme.
> You do not just get a bed - you check into a mini- resort with  a luxurious
> bed, with TV,  your own bathroom with bathtub and shower. You will dine in a
> shade of palm trees next to a gorgeous swimming pool, and you become a part
> of Budd's family. You get a run of the house that is filled with  an
> eclectic collection of antique weapons , historical artifacts, and aviation
> memorabilia.
> Breakfast - yes,  coffee is ready at 7 am and you go to the refrigerator and
> dig, but then you get the dinner, cooked personally by Budd's wife Marlene
> cook supreme.
> And there is Budd's dog, Nizhoni, a true character if there ever was one
> .....  well enough of that. Sign up for the "Pitts landing course", start
> learning to fly again, and have fun.
> Jan. M Wieckowski (jcat46173 at


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