The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) first-quarter 2009 shipment report posted deliveries of 462 general aviation airplanes. That’s a 41.1-percent drop from the same period last year, according to GAMA. Billings fell 18.2 percent, to $4.34 billion.
The hardest-hit segment was piston-powered aircraft, which, with 179 deliveries, was down 55.1 percent from the first quarter of 2008, when 399 airplanes were delivered. Business jet deliveries, at 191 airplanes, were off 35.7 percent from last year’s first quarter figure of 297 airplanes.
The only gains came in the turboprop sector, with 92 deliveries. That’s up from last year’s first-quarter deliveries of 89 airplanes, making for a 3.4-percent increase.
“This is an extremely difficult time for our industry,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We are dealing first and foremost with the severe negative effects of a worldwide economic downturn, but also with unwarranted criticism focused on the industry. The result has been the cancellation of orders for new airplanes and the loss of more than 15,000 high-paying jobs for American workers over the last several months.”