Do pilots use mathematics?

Are you not good at Math but want to become a pilot? Do you want to know whether pilots use Math in their work? Here are all the answers:

Math is a very polarizing subject. You either love it or hate it. Many people who identify with the latter group often wonder which jobs require Math as a compulsory subject. Many people ask if Math is used by pilots and hence does it need to be studied if one wants to become a pilot. The short answer is: unfortunately, yes. Math is actually heavily used by pilots along with other technical subjects like physics. Here is how Math is used by pilots in their work:

Pilots are required to have good mechanical aptitude. Math is used by pilots on a daily basis. You need to have knowledge of basic arithmetic, algebra and calculus, and a thorough understanding of geometry if you want to work as a pilot.


Computers have made the entire flying procedure much easier, however basic geometry knowledge is still required by pilots to get from one place to another. Geometry is used to plan routes and keep the aircraft on course. Stuff like reading directional compasses and calculating how many degrees to turn the aircraft during flight require geometry knowledge. This allows them to angle the aircraft toward its destination.

To avoid bad weather and other hazards, pilots must calculate the necessary bank angle, which is a measure of how sharply they must move the plane horizontally and vertically to avoid these hazards.

Take Off and Landing

Once again, pilots must use geometry to calculate angles for taking off and landing. Planes have recommended angles for takeoff and landing. If a pilot descends or climbs at an angle that is too steep, the plane’s tail can hit the runway. This can damage the plane and may cause it to crash. Speed, altitude and distance from the destination are factors pilots use when determining the angle of descent and the angle of climb.


In order to become a pilot, you must pass a written exam, which features several questions requiring knowledge of geometry and algebra. The amount of geometry knowledge needed to pass the test is not significant. A person who has taken a geometry course in high school or college should be able to answer the geometry related test questions.


While most pilots focus on flying, some work as test pilots. These pilots must have more knowledge of geometry since they assist aeronautical engineers to design and build aircraft. A significant amount of geometry, physics and trigonometry goes into building planes and jets. Test pilots and engineers must understand how weights and balances affect flight, how wind can impact the plane and how the shape of fixed wings and airfoils affect flight.