Q&A: Noise Reduction Processes, Products and Considerations

Written by Steve Ells
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March 2015-

Hi Steve,
I have two top-of-the-line noise-canceling headsets that work great, but I prefer to fly my 1975 Cessna 210L without them.
I've tried all the top brands and not one of these headsets is entirely comfortable. I suspect it's because I have an extremely large head. The reason doesn't matter; I just don't like anything on my head—especially something that applies pressure.
So my question is, what can I do to make my airplane quieter? How much work is it, and what's the cost?

—Bob Bighead

Dear Bob,
Good questions. And is it even possible to soundproof a light airplane? That's another good question.
In-cabin noise levels can be reduced in varying degrees by the installation of ever more sophisticated solutions. There's just one caveat: every product installed must be at least flame resistant and must be self-extinguishing when tested in accordance with Appendix F as specified in FAR 23.853 and 23.856. These materials can be costly. Keep in mind, too, that any solution will add weight.

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