GAMA released its first-quarter statistics, and the General Aviation segment increased its billings by 3.3% when compared to the first quarter in 2017. The variability in the mix, when compared to 2017, was significant, with 3 fewer piston aircraft delivered, 13 more turboprops delivered, and 2 more business jets delivered. However, 10 of the lowest priced business jet, the Cirrus SJ-50, were delivered this year versus none last year, indicating a slight downward trend for larger models. Nonetheless, the segment increased billings by 3.25%, indicating a slight upward trend in the mix even with the addition of personal jets into the market.
Helicopter shipments were up a remarkable 17.1% year over year, with billings up 18.6%. With oil prices once again rising, the oil and gas industry, a major user of helicopters, is leading a return of stronger market demand, a positive sign.