From The Desk of The Editor

What a Difference a Year Can Make! Newt Gingrich, American politician, historian, and

author once said, “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” The helicopter world is but a small niche industry in the larger macroeconomy, but in my short 27 years as a participant, I am always amazed how it bends to change and perseveres through tough times.

From mid-2015 to early 2017, there were economic storms pounding our industry’s shores. Waves of crashing oil prices, military cutbacks, global economic slowdowns, VA funding cuts, political and policy shifts, and several other factors crashed over most everyone in our industry, which included helicopter manufacturers, pilots, leasing companies, operators, and all the support sectors that connect us all. In other words, the last 18 to 24 months was tough sailing for most of our businesses.

Looking ahead to 2018, there’s an optimistic buzz in the air. We at Rotorcraft Pro have our ear to the ground; many of the business leaders we hear and indicators we see are pointing to calmer weather.

On the oil price front, we have seen a slow-but-steady increase from the 2016 lows of sub-$30 per barrel, to the near $60 level as of this writing. According to Arthur E. Berman, a petroleum geologist with 36 years of oil and gas industry experience, and contributor to, “Oil prices are poised to rise in early 2018 as data suggests oil supplies are tightening and that higher prices are likely in the relatively near future.”

This single factor will ripple across many sectors and will have a positive impact on operators, lessors, manufacturers, and jobs. If you’re looking for an excellent bellwether that connects oil prices to the health of helicopter markets, look no further than the leasing companies. One such company is Waypoint Leasing with $1.6 billion in helicopter assets spread across 30 countries. In a late 2017 Aviation Finance article, Clark McGinn, a senior VP at Waypoint Leasing indicated, “The combination of the oil price crash, CHC’s Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) and general economic woes created the perfect storm for the oil & gas industry and for the helicopter market over the past 18 months. But the good news is that we’re seeing some stability come back into both markets.”

2 Nov/Dec 2017

Additionally, there have been a few other factors changing the landscape. The U.S. government administration change has improved enthusiasm in the business community with efforts to overhaul the cumbersome tax system and reduce regulation. Military spending is growing and global markets like Latin America and China are expanding or opening. All of which are good for the health of our industry.

So, as we look ahead to 2018, it’s my hope that the optimistic buzz in the air is actually the sound of rotors turning and revenue being earned by the hard-working people and businesses of the helicopter industry. Last but not least, from the Rotorcraft Pro team, we would like to wish our readers, writers, photographers, and advertisers a safe holiday season and a smooth takeoff into the new year.

Lyn Burks, Editor-In-Chief

Publisher Brig Bearden Editor-In-Chief Lyn Burks Assistant Editor Pam Landis Account Executive Teri Rivas Layout Design Bryan Matuskey Boris Grauden Online Accounts Manager Lynnette Burks Copy Editor

Rick Weatherford Social Media Guru Laura Lentz

Subscription / Circulation Manager Pam Fulmer

Contributing Writers

James Careless Joanna Nellans Rick Weatherford Sharon Desfor Matt Johnson

Randy Mains Brad McNally Tim Pruitt

Randy Rowles Scott Skola

Rotorcraft Pro®

is published six times

a year and mailed out on or around the 10th of every other month by: Rotorcraft Pro Media Netwok, Inc. Rotorcraft Pro® is distributed free to qualified subscrib- ers. Non-qualified subscription rates are $57.00 per year in the U.S. and Canada, $125.00 per year for foreign subscribers (surface mail). U.S. postage paid at Fall River, Wisconsin, and additional mailing offices. Publisher is not liable for all content

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Corporate Officers Brig Bearden / COO Lyn Burks / CEO Mailing Address

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