The carriage and use of supplementary oxygen is mandatory when flying above 10,000 feet pressure altitude in Australia.  However, many glider pilots take the precautionary step of commencing oxygen use at lower altitudes in order to maintain the highest level of mental alertness and physical well-being, particularly in potentially stressful situations such as competition flying.  This is to be highly commended.  Details on the uses, care of equipment, installations, safety aspects and health requirements can be found in other references such as MOSP parts 2 & 3. The following paragraphs however deal with the more practical (often frustrating) aspects associated with obtaining professional servicing and re-filling of airborne oxygen cylinders with Aviators Dry Breathing Oxygen (ADBO).

 Members may have found it difficult and expensive to get a privately-owned cylinder refilled. You may even have found it impossible to get the cylinder tested and re-certified. What becomes quickly apparent is that the major oxygen suppliers have no interest, and make no provision for, filling cylinders which are not their own. That is, you can rent cylinders from them but not supply your own. This approach severely restricts the options in getting re-fills and many locations have only aviation type outlets willing to assist, at a price appropriate to their industry.

 Airborne oxygen cylinders, whether fabricated from steel, aluminium or composite materials, are required to undergo hydro-static pressure testing to 1.67 times rated maximum pressure every five years.  The ID of the testing station and date of test is then imprinted on the shoulder of the cylinder. Note: Cylinders that are not current cannot legally be re-filledMost steel and aluminium cylinders have an unlimited life-span, but composite cylinders must be retired from service no later than 15 years from date of manufacture.

 So, members may face two challenges – firstly having the cylinder tested (if required) and secondly getting the cylinder re-filled with ADBO. These two services are rarely available from the one vendor – often testing stations do not re-fill cylinders and, furthermore, re-filling stations may not supply ADBO, although practically all will supply medical oxygen.  In practical terms this should not be considered a problem as medical oxygen (and also welding oxygen) meets the quality specification for ADBO.  Present-day oxygen production technology and quality control has for ever dispelled the old-wives-tales of unacceptable moisture levels and cylinder purging procedures between oxygen “grades”.

 The following links take members to known sources of cylinder hydrostatic testing and re-certification, cylinder re-filling and service centres which are sympathetic to our needs and willing to be open minded regarding cost for service. 


An alternate view on Oxygen    – is it special?, what are the traps and dangers


Oxygen equipment providers – Service organisations – Refill outlets







Canberra Gliding Club



02 6452 3994

Bottle refills

John Cameron Aviation



02 9791 0155

Bottle testing & refills. Ask for Peter Rainer

Go Soaring         



07 5499 4636

Mountain High Oxygen Systems

Allwoods Breathing Services



03 9725 1577

Bottle testing

Composite Components



03 5334 4194

Mountian High Agent

Miden Medical



03 9338 1253

Bottle refills with Aviation grade
Bottle sales, regulators, flow meters and plumbing fittings

Scuba repair and service centre



03 9555 5777

Hydro testing, bottle cleaning and filling

Western Airmotive P/L



08 9332 7655

Mountain High Agent

Gascon Systems


Balwyn North    

03 9484 4190

Design and manufacture specialised gas control equipment and provide a service to the Medical gas markets.

Aircraft Spruce




Oxygen monitoring sensors 


If you have other reliable sources in your state or city who can assist in this area, please contact the web administrator with details to enable inclusion and expansion of the following information.

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