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Math Help - Could use help with 1 more word problem...

  1. #1
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    Could use help with 1 more word problem...

    A pilot in a helicopter sights an ambulance heading toward an accident scene. He measures the angles of depression to the ambulance and the accident to be 21o and 15o, respectively. If the helicopter is 4000 ft from the ambulance, how far does the ambulance have to travel to get to the accident?

    Thanks for any help!
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor Amer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlosK View Post
    A pilot in a helicopter sights an ambulance heading toward an accident scene. He measures the angles of depression to the ambulance and the accident to be 21o and 15o, respectively. If the helicopter is 4000 ft from the ambulance, how far does the ambulance have to travel to get to the accident?

    Thanks for any help!

    if you draw a picture this will be clear to you
    we need to find the height of the helicopter, the horizontal distance between the ambulance and the helicopter is 4000 ft so

    \tan 21 = \frac{4000}{h} h is the helicopter height

    h = \frac{4000}{\tan 21}

    now

    \tan 15 = \frac{d}{h} d is the horizontal distance between the accident and the helicopter

    find d, finally the ambulance should travel 4000-d
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlosK View Post
    A pilot in a helicopter sights an ambulance heading toward an accident scene. He measures the angles of depression to the ambulance and the accident to be 21o and 15o, respectively. If the helicopter is 4000 ft from the ambulance, how far does the ambulance have to travel to get to the accident?

    Thanks for any help!
    the helicopter is 4000 ft from the ambulance
    Do you if this is a straight line distance or the horizontal distance as Amer has assumed?
    My guess is that it would be the slope distance from the helicopter to the ambulance.
    Could you clarify this?
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