The FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) to owners of Airbus A300s; Dassault Falcon 20s, 50s, 200s and 900s; Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porters; and Eurocopter AS 350B3 and SA 315B helicopters.
Those aircraft, if equipped with optional oxygen reserve cylinders, are the subject of an EASA-issued Emergency Airworthiness Directive No. 2006-0286-E, dated Sept. 21, 2006. The SAIB applies to oxygen reserve cylinders having part numbers GLD series, GLF series, PC2300 and SLF300.
The manufacturer of the oxygen cylinders, Intertechnique Zodiac Aircraft Systems, has informed EASA and Eurocopter that there is a risk that the high-pressure oxygen cylinder might rupture. These oxygen reserve cylinders are used for missions at high altitudes or to ensure respiratory aid for passengers feeling sick.
The metallurgical characteristics of the 5283 aluminum alloy from which the cylinder shells are manufactured can deteriorate over time. The SAIB should be followed to prevent rupture of the oxygen cylinders. The documents give information on how to identify the date of manufacture of the cylinder shell and instructions for removal and emptying of the cylinders.
Cylinder shells manufactured more than 25 years ago and installed on aircraft operating in normal climatic conditions, and cylinders manufactured more than 15 years ago and installed on aircraft operating in salty atmospheric conditions (offshore operations), should be removed and emptied, according to the directive.