Alright, so I have a project due for Calculus - Like immediately and I need some help.

here is what the project says (i've only included the important parts):

We have been asked to investigate two flights, American Airlines flight #1003 (Minneapolis to New Orleans) and United Airlines flight #366 (Los Angeles to New York). Both flights are at33,000 feet, and the flight paths intersect directlyover our client's city of Frada Heights. A committee of concerned citizens has petitioned the City to investigate the possible danger of a collision of these two flights, based on the testimony of several residents who claim to haveseen near-misses shortly after 1:30 PMon several occasions recently.

On the day we checked, we found that at1:30 PM (Central time), American 1003 was32 nautical miles from Frada Heights, approaching it on a heading of 171ø at a rate of405 knots. At the same time, United 366 was44 nautical miles from Frada Heightsand was approaching it on a heading of 81ø at a rate of465 knots.

The DPS has asked us to determine how fast the planes were approaching each other (i.e., how fast the distance between them was decreasing) at that time, hoping that we will testify that this approach was dangerously fast. The DPS would also like to know whether the flights would have violated the FAA's minimum separation requirement of 5 nautical miles. If possible, we would like to determine how close the planes actually get to each other, and the time at which they are closest. Would Air Traffic Control have time to take appropriate action? Might a slight altitude change for one of the flights help prevent any five mile rule violation?

Some information that I have so far:

hopefully this is right.

1 Knot = 1 Nautical Mile per hour

1 nautical mile per hour = 1 mile per hour

1 nautical mile = 1852 meters

So far i've gotten a map and traced where the planes are going. Frada Heights isn't a real place obviously but its suppose to be somewhere in Northern Missouri, this at least is where they intersect.

Both planes are flying at the same altitude. I've made a triangle with the map i have - the triangle goes from where frada heights should be, over to NY and up to MN - if i'm correct if the lines on the triangle going down are proportional the planes are going to collide no matter what.

My problem is I'm having trouble finding out how to actually get to my answers - is there an equation for relative velocity? Thats, i think, what i need to find between the two planes...

Anyway - I would greatly appreciate anyones help on this. I'm new to the forums.

Thanks in advance,

-ty