Aviation authority reports cold weather hazard for Goodyear inner tubes
Several reports of inner tube failure during cold weather operations have prompted the Federal Aviation Administration in the US to issue a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin warning of possible failures involving butyl rubber inner tubes manufactured by Goodyear Aviation Tires. The bulletin has been issued as a recommendation and the FAA states that at present the inner tube failure in question does not constitute a safety issue that would warrant airworthiness directive action.
The cold weather failures were reported following short flights or following ground operations. According to the FAA, Goodyear is aware of these failures and has made several attempts to improve the cold weather performance of its inner tubes. In November 2008, Goodyear incorporated a change to the compound in its butyl rubber inner tubes. Since then, the reliability of its inner tubes is said to have increased, yet reports of cold weather failures continued. Therefore, Goodyear says it has begun testing butyl rubber inner tubes made from an updated and improved compound.
Following successful field testing, Goodyear will release its improved inner tubes. In the meantime, the FAA recommends pilots and operators “provide special attention during pre-flight” to aircraft tyres with Goodyear butyl rubber inner tubes within. This can be done by checking to ensure all tyres are properly inflated and are holding pressure, being prepared to compensate for a flat tyre during landing and by remaining extra aware of potential problems during cold weather and cross wind landing conditions on narrow and on short runways.