Wed, May 02, 2012
Today is Airshow Ace and long-time Aero-Friend, Bud Granley's birthday... and we wanted to celebrate!
According to his bio, flying has been a part of Bud Granley's life since he was 9 years old. He and his brothers were playing when they saw a Tiger Moth biplane glide to a landing on their uncle's farm. They ran to see the plane, and were amazed to find that their Dad was the pilot. He had secretly earned his flying license. Bud and his two brothers were hooked on aviation after that. Their father made a career of flying, and saw his three children begin their lives in aviation.
Bud joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1956 after earning his wings with a Royal Canadian Air Cadet scholarship. He was awarded honor scrolls at basic, and advanced flying schools in the flying the T-6 and T-33. He served 3 years flying the F-86 Sabre in Baden-Baden, Germany. He was a member of the Canadian gunnery team which won the NATO competition for the third straight year.
Bud then instructed on the T-6 Harvard at Red Deer Alberta. He was selected to be the base solo demonstration pilot on the Harvard, thus starting his career as an airshow pilot. A civilian who had purchased a World War 11 surplus P-40 for $150 asked Bud to fly his plane at local airshows. This was Bud's introduction to WW2 type aircraft. Bud became an A-1 instructor, and served in Standards flight and as base instrument check pilot.
Bud lives in Bellevue Washington. He flew for United Airlines until retiring in 1997. He has six children.; three of them served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Two flew with the Snowbird aerobatic team, and are now airline pilots. Ross flies with United, Chris with Air Canada. Deb flies the 737 for Alaska Airlines. Bob chose the Navy, and is now a Captain with BC Ferries, but also ferries the T-6 or Yak-55 to airshows.
The T-6/Harvard, Yak-55, or the Fouga Magister are the usual airshow planes. He also flies a formation aerobatic act with his son Ross using his Yak-55 and Ross in the Yak-18T. You may see Bud flying museum airplanes around Seattle; classic warbirds like the Mustang, P-40, P-47, TBM Avenger; maybe a British Hawker Hurricane or Spitfire; a German ME-109E, Feisler Storch; or an old biplane; a Russian “ night witches” Polikarpov PO-2; a World War One JN-4 Jenny, N3N, or Stearman.
His airshow peers awarded Bud the Art Scholl Showmanship award in 2005, and the Bill Barber Showmanship award in 2008.
ANN wishes Bud a very 75th Happy Birthday and thanks him for the privilege of the many decades we have been fortunate enough to call him a friend.
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