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Another Question For All Those Pilots  
User currently offlineFunny From Greece, joined May 2001, 333 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2969 times:

Just how much physics do you guys use up there.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDoug_or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3585 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (14 years 6 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2893 times:

At Purdue We're required to have 2 semsters of physics w/ labs, but I doubt you ever have to calculate your potential energy at altitude or anything. everything you need and its table or formula should be in your manuals.

When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 6 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2888 times:

From these two posts, I gather that the question that you're really asking is what should I study if I want to become a pilot? Correct? I'll give you my opinion and I'm sure that there will be plenty of additional input. Let's start with physics. Aircraft fly using the laws of physics and a general understanding of the applicable laws would be nice. Same with mathematics. Same with any number of subjects. For what it's worth, here are my recommendations:
Math - As much as you can stomach.
Science - Same thing.
English - It's the International Language of Aviation and it will really help you if you are fluent in it.
History - I would have never thought much about this before, but as a pilot you may have the opportunity to go to a lot of very interesting places. I'm so glad that I've been able to recognize the historical importance of many of the places that I've been to. It makes the job that much more interesting and special.
Personal Finance - Hopefully, you'll be making enough money to need a class like this.

When it comes to college (university), I'd recommend getting a degree in something that you can fall back on and support yourself and your family if the aviation thing doesn't work out. Like the old saying goes, you don't necessarily want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Pilots get furlowed or lose their medical. It happens everyday and it's a shame when it happens. My degree is in business managment, in our pilot group we have electrical engineers and MBA's. You need something to fall back on.

As to what you need to specifically know to be a pilot - don't worry about it. That's what groundschool is for. You'll get all of the "theory" as well as all of the practical information that you'll need. I'm sure that I could go on for quite a bit more, but I'm getting tired of typing.

User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1190 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (14 years 6 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2866 times:

I think the point of all the science and math courses is not the fact that you can spout formulas and do differential equations, but that these subjects force you to develop problem solving skills and logic, things that would help you out in a bind when say all these circuit breakers start popping and now you're left with a less than perfect airplane.

Yes in ground school and in the sims you'll learn emergency procedures and memorize the immediate and controlling actions to prevent a cascading casualty. But if your just memorize the steps, you really don't understand why you're doing something. But by understanding the systems and applying logic/problem solving, it makes the procedures immensely easier to understand why you're doing these steps in that particular order.

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers  Smile
Woodreau - KMVL

Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineMinuteman From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 271 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 6 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2855 times:

Sorry to be "that guy", but please try to use more-descriptive Topic lines for threads.

User currently offlineCheetoman222 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 6 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2818 times:

I go to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The school is known for it's Aerospace engineering program(which I am in) and also it's Aeronautical Science (proffesional pilots). 1 in 4 commercial airline pilots hold a degree from Embry Riddle. The curriculum for pilots is not too hard and there isn't too much physics involved in the degree. My roommate is studying to be a pilot and he sleeps probably 1/2-3/4 of the day whn he's not in classes or flying.

User currently offlineAaron atp From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 533 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (14 years 6 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2815 times:

>>>Personal Finance - Hopefully, you'll be making enough money to need a class like this. <<<

Take the 3 women you love the most and buy them a house, you'd might as well get it done now to save yourself the heartbreak...

Wife #1: Childhood Sweetheat
Wife #2: 19 year-old flight attendant
Wife #3: Old flight Attendant

User currently offlineAv8trxx From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 657 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (14 years 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2807 times:

If you are asking what kind of math would be used on a daily basis and how it's applied in the airline world-

Physics is good to broaden your knowledge base, and usually required to get a degree, but it's not necessary to be a pilot. All the numbers an aviator needs are in either in their head, in their books/tables/charts or can be calculated using basic algebra. (Using a calculator or rounding off and doing it in your head).

Fuel planning, temperature conversions, reciprocal headings, turn radius, crosswind components, time-speed-distance problems, calculating true airspeed, calculating a VDP, the 60-to-1 rule, and figuring descents & crossing restrictions are the most common kinds of calculating that pilots do, mostly in their head.

There is even a book written on this subject entitled, "Mental Math for Pilots" by Ronald McElroy. It's published by Cage Consulting, which is a company that helps aspiring pilots with their airline interviews.

Here is a link to the online catalog where you can buy this excellent softcover book:

User currently offlineFunny From Greece, joined May 2001, 333 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2774 times:

Thanks guys. Youve been really helpfull. I appreciate it.
Thaks again,

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30408 posts, RR: 57
Reply 9, posted (14 years 6 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2765 times:

There are still those pilots who haven't figured out that for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction.......


If a pilot was to make a right handturn in an aircraft. It will tend to slosh the coffee in his cup to the left. Do this hard enough typically the coffee will disembark from the cup.

The pilots that tend not to realize this are typically the same ones that don't realize that some damm engineer designed the coffee cup holder into the molding that forms the top of the circut breaker panel. So when the coffee splashes it goes right into the breakers on the airplane......I believe a couple A/C have been lost this way.

User currently offlineMe From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 220 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (14 years 6 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2734 times:


Your theory is incorrect.

When a properly executed coordinated turn is made, the coffee will not slosh to either side. Centrifugal force, which is oppsite of the horizontal component of lift, counteracts any sloshing and the coffee remains in the cup. The only force percieved may be a slight increase in G loading at typical 30 degree banks (aprox 1.2G's). Need proof? Notice the 500lb. beverage cart not flipping over when 30 degree banks are made in flight.

User currently offline61Heavy From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 6 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2730 times:

From http://www.nasm.edu/nasm/aero/aircraft/rockwell_commander.htm :

One particular maneuver demonstrated Hoover's superb pilot skills in both the Shrike and the Sabreliner, but it is only visible on film. At altitude, Hoover set a glass on top of the instrument panel and proceeded to pour iced tea into the glass from a pitcher in his right hand while using his left hand to completely roll the aircraft. Combining centrifugal force with smooth handling of the controls, he never spilled a drop of tea.

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