FAA issues tire safety alert

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a safety alert for operators to emphasize the importance of maintaining correct aircraft tire pressure.

Pressure checks can be accomplished by measuring cold tire pressure at intervals recommended by the manufacturer, the alert said. They are most effective when tires have been at rest for at least two hours since their last use.

Aircraft tires are designed to carry heavy loads at high speeds, meaning that problems caused by incorrect tire pressure can lead to catastrophic failures, the alert said. Over-inflation of a tire can cause uneven wear, reduced traction and increased stress on aircraft wheels. Under-inflation can increase stress on the tire, which shortens its life and can lead to tire blowouts.

Following the guidance in the SAFO is important, as the FAA has identified a number of aircraft accidents where malfunctioning tires may have been a factor.

To review the SAFO: http://www.nbaa.org/ops/part135/faa-alerts

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