The FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) alerting pilots and aircraft manufacturers of possible inner tube failures made from butyl rubber by Goodyear Aviation Tires.
According to the FAA, there have been several reports of Goodyear inner tube failures during cold weather operations. The failures were reported following short flights or following ground operations. Goodyear is aware of these failures and has made several attempts to improve the cold weather performance of its inner tubes, FAA officials note in the SAIB. In November 2008, Goodyear incorporated a change to its compound for its butyl rubber inner tubes. Since then, the reliability of the inner tubes had increased, but cold weather failures were still reported. Goodyear has started to test another improvement to its butyl rubber inner tubes made from an updated compound. Following successful field testing, Goodyear will make the improved inner tubes available.
The FAA recommends you provide special attention during pre-flight to airplane tires with Goodyear butyl rubber inner tubes by:
- Checking to ensure that all tires are properly inflated and are holding pressure;
- Being prepared to compensate for a flat tire during landing as this might pull the airplane to the affected side; and
- Providing extra awareness during cold weather and cross wind landing conditions on narrow and on short runways.