...While Piston Sales Barely Hold On

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Meanwhile, on Friday, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported that in the first nine months of this year, deliveries of general aviation airplanes totaled 1,602 units, a 9.3 percent drop from the same period last year, with industry billings dropping 24.4 percent to $6.43 billion. However, one bright spot could be found: Shipments of piston-engine airplanes were up 0.2 percent over the same period last year, from 1,099 units to 1,101 units. It's not much of an upside, but at least it's not a downside, and it could even be seen as a trend. GAMA President Ed Bolen said, "This is the third straight quarter in which piston deliveries have been in positive territory, and we hope that is a harbinger of better days for the entire industry." Bolen added, "The piston numbers, a strengthening economy, and the bonus depreciation are generating cautious optimism among manufacturers." Unfortunately, piston singles were just about the only place positive numbers could be found. Shipments of turboprop airplanes declined 4.1 percent, from 170 units in the same period last year, to 163 units. Business jet shipments decreased from 498 units in the first three quarters of last year to 338 units this year. For the full report, visit GAMA's Web site.