Do you need to be good at math to be an airline pilot?

Math & physics and their significance in aviation. Is it important to know how to calculate? Everyone uses a calculator when things need to be calculated, right? And do you actually need to understand physics when you are piloting an aircraft? I received tons of questions about math and physics. It seems there is still a lot of uncertainty about this subject so allow me to enlighten you.

The short answer Yes & Yes! It is important to have a basic understanding of physics and math. You have to know how to calculate quickly, precisely and by heart. Flying an airplane is all about Mathematics and Physics. Just think about it for a second, how is an airplane able to take off with all that weight? How does lift and drag work and how do you calculate the top of descent or distance an airplane needs to fly in order to maintain a 3 degree glide path to the runway?


Do You Need Physics To Become A Pilot?

You will need a significant amount of knowledge and skills in order to become a pilot. Everything from weather to physics and everything in between is covered. Math is required not only for the job, but also for the training.

To become a pilot, you should be able to read and understand a few basic math concepts. Several additional subjects must be learned in order to be safe in the cockpit of an airplane. Someone advised me to study Physics and Mathematics in high school or above if I want to become a commercial pilot. To fly an airplane, the pilot must be familiar with math in order to solve all of the complicated equations in the cockpit. Modern airplanes today have electronic displays that can solve the most difficult equations. Pilots who fly in general aviation may make more decisions than those who fly in airplanes. As pilots, we are primarily concerned with solving simple mathematical problems.

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Doesn’t the Aircraft/Auto Pilot Handle Most of this?

Yes, most of the above calculations are done by the aircraft and by modern technology these days.

That being said, you still want to have a good understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. There very well could be scenarios where a piece of technology fails or has bad information causing you to get a bad output.

Is Math Compulsory for Pilots?

Math is not compulsory insofar as flight schools will not ask to see a mathematics qualification.

However, math is required to obtain a high school diploma and the GED. As all flight schools require a high school diploma or equivalent, you do technically need to have a passing math grade.

An expert at multi-tasking

This one comes up a lot, mostly from people worried that they won’t make a good pilot because they can’t concentrate on the TV while they cook dinner. But the truth is, this isn’t the same thing. Believe it or not, pilots themselves are rarely truly ‘multi-tasking’ anyway because the limitations of the human brain generally make it a bad idea.

It is widely considered that a human brain can only do one complex task at a time properly, so it stands to reason that a pilot controlling an airliner full of passengers shouldn’t try to do more than one thing at eleven.

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