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Posted by on Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 3:20pm.

An airplane pilot wishes to fly due west. A wind of 82.0 km/h is blowing toward the south.
If the airspeed of the plane (its speed in still air) is 380.0 km/h, in which direction should the pilot head?

This is what I did. I let
theta = arcsin(82.0/380.0)
theta = 12 degrees North of West

but I got it wrong I guess...Did I miss something?

  • physics - , Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 3:40pm

    The logic sounds good to me.
    The southward component is 82 km/hr which is cancelled by 380 sin(θ).
    The θ that I calculated is 12.462 degrees approx. north of west.
    Is your answer from the computer requiring a definite number of decimal places, or is it on paper? Or perhaps the answer is expressed bearing, or 282.462 degrees (clockwise from the north)?

  • physics - , Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 4:03pm

    Ah, that was the problem. I only put 12 degrees, not 12.462.

  • physics - , Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 4:21pm

    You're very welcome!

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