Piston Purchases Make Progress

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The piston market grew an additional 20 percent over the 20-year peak reached in 2004, with 2,465 units shipped. Turboprop shipments grew 14 percent. GAMA credits innovations in performance and comfort for keeping the turboprop segment competitive. The bizjet sector grew 27 percent, with 750 units shipped, just 34 fewer than the record of 784 in 2001. Exports from the U.S. grew 67 percent, representing 19 percent of all aircraft built in the country. "All manufacturers are seeing new markets emerge around the globe," GAMA said. Jobs at GAMA member companies grew by 6 percent. But one statistic fell -- there were 3 percent fewer private pilots than in 2004. GA flight activity overall also declined by about 2 percent, and remains about 30 percent below levels seen in the early 1980s. The student pilot population remained stable at about 87,000.