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Another Question For All Those Pilots

Sat Nov 24, 2001 7:15 am

Just how much physics do you guys use up there.
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RE: Another Question For All Those Pilots

Sat Nov 24, 2001 7:40 am

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

RE: Another Question For All Those Pilots

Sat Nov 24, 2001 7:48 am

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.
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RE: Another Question For All Those Pilots

Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:17 am

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.
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RE: Another Question For All Those Pilots

Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:24 am

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

RE: Another Question For All Those Pilots

Sun Nov 25, 2001 1:26 am

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.
aaron atp
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Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 1:17 pm


Sun Nov 25, 2001 2:12 am

>>>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

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Mental Math For Pilots

Sun Nov 25, 2001 6:18 am

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:
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RE: ...

Sun Nov 25, 2001 6:59 pm

Thanks guys. Youve been really helpfull. I appreciate it.
Thaks again,
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RE: Another Question For All Those Pilots

Sun Nov 25, 2001 11:33 pm

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.
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RE: Another Question For All Those Pilots

Thu Nov 29, 2001 4:13 am


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.

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RE: Coffee Spills And Maneuvering

Thu Nov 29, 2001 4:50 am

From :

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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