A parachutist jumps from an airplane traveling at 250 km/h from 500 m up. The speed he lands at is 0. What is the horizontal distance covered.

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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The parachutist jumps from an airplane traveling at 250 km/h from a height of 500 m. When he lands his speed is 0 km/h. The horizontal distance covered by the parachutist has to be determined.

This problem cannot be solved as the information provided is insufficient. It can be assumed that when the parachutist leaves the airplane his vertical velocity is 0 km/h. As the parachutist falls he is being accelerated downwards by the gravitational force of attraction of the Earth and decelerated by air resistance. Without any information about the deceleration due to air resistance it is not possible to estimate the time the parachutist takes to land. This also does not allow the horizontal distance to be determined; this would have been possible to do only if the time spent in flight were available.

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