How Do Pilots Use Math?

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Airplane and helicopter pilots use math to grasp distances, a crucial component in flying any aircraft. While this is the primary reason a firm understanding of math is vital for anyone planning to become a pilot, it is not the only one.

According to College Board, airplane and helicopter pilots use math frequently in their occupation. For instance, they use math to help them remain on course while adjusting for changes in altitude, wind speed and fuel levels. Math helps them understand what flight instrument readings indicate and how those instrument messages combine to indicate an overall set of conditions. It also helps them read elaborate maps and identify not only a current location but a route to a particular destination and to determine the maximum weight limit for a plane in order to experience a safe flight. The subject of mathematics also helps pilots comprehend how the many variables of flight interact. Algebra allows pilots to manipulate such variables as well as to plot a course while developing a flight plan.

Education Portal indicates that fighter pilots often obtain their college degrees in mathematics or physical sciences before undergoing highly specialized training. Math offers even more applications for a military pilot.