A skilled pilot landing diagonally in 40 knot wind.

A skilled pilot landing diagonally in 40 knot wind.

A skilled pilot landing diagonally in 40 knot wind.

“Pilot maths” sounds a little scary because figuring out how to fly seems to be very hard. Students who want to become pilots often wonder what kind of maths pilots use. “Do I have the maths skills I need to be a pilot?”

Yes, maths and physics are important skills for pilots to have, but they aren’t always as hard as you might think, so don’t give up on the idea just yet. Most of the time, you can do the calculations on your own with the help of software, hardware, and formulas. Once you understand what the equations are trying to say, the maths is not that hard. Just choose the right formula, put in your data, and the answer will be shown.

Are you ready to find out what you need to know to get over your fear of pilot maths? Here are some things you should know:

What kind of math do pilots need to know?

Pilots need to understand and be able to use a wide range of mathematical ideas. In order to be a pilot, you need to know how to do basic maths, like interpolation, basic geometry, trigonometry, and trigonometry.

Maths that is easy

In elementary school, the first type of maths you learned was basic arithmetic. This includes adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Most of us don’t find basic maths to be especially hard or scary. Most of the time, you won’t be using a calculator to do this kind of pilot maths. Instead, you’ll probably do it by hand or in your head. Because of this, it’s important to pay close attention to the details and avoid making mistakes.


Since geometry is a branch of maths that studies the shapes, sizes, and relationships between objects in space, it helps aviation a lot. Because there are so many formulas in geometry, it is helpful to learn the most common ones and have cheat sheets or other resources for others


Trigonometry is a branch of maths that looks at how the sides and angles of a triangle relate to each other. One of the most common ways that trigonometry is used in aviation is to figure out the wind correction or crosswind component. Good news is that pilots don’t have to be experts in trigonometry to do these calculations. They only need to know how to do the maths, which is usually done with an E6B or an app for figuring out flight times.


Interpolation is the maths term for making a guess based on data that is close by. This method uses both basic maths and algebra because you have to figure out what the unknown variable “x” is based on how it relates to the data you already have.

Maths that can be used

Even though pilots often use physical calculators and apps that do the work for them, there are times when they have to do maths quickly and correctly in their heads. It is important to learn how to do maths in your head. Start by practising your skills by reading Mental Maths for Pilots.


Sophia Amelia is the New York Times Bestselling Author. Writing stories to inspire young minds. Celebrating the power of words & imagination through my books. Join me on my journey to creating stories that will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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