I've done this before, but it's been a long time.

Using trigonometric functions, I've been asked to solve the following problem. However, I'm at a complete loss as to how to do it. I have 5 questions similar that I know I can figure out if given an example.

A plane moving at $180$ mi/hr comes down to a $300$ ft elevation, flying straight and level. It releases a package to be caught in a net on the ground. Neglecting air friction, what should the horizontal distance between the plane and the net be at the time of release?

  • $\begingroup$ You said ignoring air pressure, do you mean ignoring air resistance or buoyancy? $\endgroup$
    – Michal
    Jan 18, 2014 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ Yea, I meant to say air friction... Sorry $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2014 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


First calculate how long it will fall until it hits the ground, then use that time and the fact that its horizontal velocity will remain constant to calculate how far it will travel horizontally.

  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible to solve using trigonometric functions? I believe that's what is being taught... $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2014 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ If the question is worded similar to this question then yes you would use trigonometrics. $\endgroup$
    – Kvothe
    Jan 19, 2014 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ The "this question" link commented above is dead. $\endgroup$
    – 2540625
    May 28, 2020 at 23:29

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