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5 Answers

Is math needed to become a pilot

Asked by: 9410 views Student Pilot

I would like to become a pilot, but math has never been a strong subject for me. Are strong math skills necessary to become a pilot?

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5 Answers



  1. John D. Collins on Jan 13, 2013

    No, average math skills will suffice using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Most calculations can be performed on a calculator or with flight planning software. You have to be able to read and use performance charts for flight planning takeoff and landing distances, climb performance, time in route and fuel consumption, do weight and balance, and a few other tasks. The most complicated math one needs to use operationally is to determine the effect of winds on performance and the correction in heading to maintain a course. Even these are done using a calculator or a mechanical E6B flight computer. Your ground instructor will explain how to use the E6B. By the way, an electronic calculator is permitted to be used on the knowledge exam.

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  2. Steve Pomroy on Jan 13, 2013

    Hi padmaraj.

    I’ll second what John said. You can get by with pretty rudimentary math skills. However, I think it’s worth noting that stronger math skills at the high school level will make things easier. This is especially true of trigonometry. However, not having this level of skill doesn’t need to be a deal breaker.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    http://www.flightwriter.com
    http://www.skywriters.aero

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  3. Heather H on Jan 14, 2013

    The thing that confused me as a student (math-wise) was probably interpolation of performance charts or finding the winds aloft temperatures/speeds/directions at a specific altitude for cross country planning.

    For example, you may find out that you burn 9 gallons per hour at 4000 feet for a specific configuration and 8.7 gallons per hour at 6000 feet… but you’ll be at 5500 feet and need to “interpolate” (find the number in-between) accordingly.

    Your E6B will do a lot of in-flight math for you, especially time/distance/speed calculations I liked these videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC41C23C8FD27677A

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  4. Ryan R on Jan 26, 2013

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!
    Math can give the smartest people a headache but its in everything, the good news is pilot training is fun and will make math take on a new meaning. You will not need crazy math skills to get through training but I think you will find that your math ability will improve and you will soon discover that a different approach to math will make it interesting to learn.
    I would recommend that you take a ride to your local small airport or closest flight school,
    walk in and ask away, they would love to talk to you about pilot training.
    Keep us informed on how your visit goes !

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