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Application of


Angle of Elevation
The angle between a horizontal and a line of

sight above the horizontal is called an angle of



If a 76 ft. flagpole casts a shadow of 45 ft.

long, what is the angle of elevation of the sun

from the tip of the shadow?
Solution: Let = angle of the elevation of the

sun. Thus,
tan = 75/45
tan 1.6889,
= Tan1 1.6889 59.37
The angle of elevation of the sun from the tip
of the shadow is 59.37

Angle of Depression
The angle of depression is congruent to the

angle of elevation (this assumes the object is

close enough to the observer so that the
horizontals for the observer and the object are
effectively parallel; this would not be the case
for an astronaut in orbit around the earth
observing an object on the ground.)

Suppose an airplane begins its descent to a

runway from an altitude of 12,000 ft.

If the airplane is 78,000 ft. from the runway as
measured along the ground, what is the angle
of depression?
Use the fact that the measures of the angle of
elevation and the angle of depression are the
same. Use the tangent function to find .
Tan =12,000/78,000
= tan1 0.15388.75
The angle of depression is 8.75

Bearing and Navigation

N30E means the direction is 30 east of

north. The bearing to a point is the angle

measured in a clockwise direction from the
north line.

An airplane takes off from Ninoy Aquino International Airport

on Mabuhay runaway which has a bearing of N 25E. After

flying for 2 miles, the pilot turns 90 and heads toward the
northwest. After the plane goes for 4 miles in this direction,
what bearing has the plane from the terminal?
After flying 2 miles from the airport O, the plane is at P.
After turning 90 toward the northwest and flying 4 miles,
the plane is at M. In OPM, obeys the equation tan
=4/2=2 so tan 1 2 63. 4
The acute angle between north and ray OM is 63.4 - 25 =
38. 4.
The bearing of the plane from O to M is N 38.4 W.