What’s Louder? My Helicopter or Car?

I finally take the decibel meter for two rides to find out.

Radio Shack Decibel MeterI don’t know why I own a decibel meter. I just do.

I might have bought it years ago when I tried to stop developers from putting the Hermosa Ranch subdivision at the end of Wickenburg Airport’s runway. (I won that battle even though I lost.) Or I could have gotten it before that. I’m sure it had something to do with aviation because I bought it as a piece of Flying M Air equipment.

In any case, I have one — a Radio Shack model — and recently found it among the electronic junk in my old office. I was very surprised to see that the battery still worked.

Penny w/Ear Plugs
Penny in the passenger seat of the helicopter. These cotton “earplugs” stayed in about 3-1/2 minutes on this flight.

I wanted to see how loud my helicopter was in cruise flight with the doors on. You see, Penny the Tiny Dog often flies with me as a passenger and I simply can’t get any kind of ear protection to stay in place over her ears. I’m worried about hearing damage over the long term. I figured it might be a good idea to see just how loud the helicopter was.

And the answer? The cabin of my 2005 Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter is right around 100 decibels at cruise flight — 110 knots — with all doors on.

That didn’t seem like very much to me.

That got me wondering…how loud was my 2003 Honda S2000 with the top down cruising at about 65 miles per hour? A recent ride with the meter and a friend gave me the answer. Would you believe it’s just about the same? We got readings of 95 to 100 decibels when we kept the meter out of the wind.

No wonder I’m starting to get symptoms of tinitus. Sheesh. Nothing I drive is quiet.

4 thoughts on “What’s Louder? My Helicopter or Car?

  1. Maria , you have a very nice travel companion , good luck on finding some muffs for her , sorry to hear about the other problems you are dealing with.
    hope the other parts of your life are working out , contracts to keep you busy

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