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Unit 5 Trigonometric Ratios

5.8 3D Trig Problems


1. Two roads intersect at 340. Two cars leave the intersection on different roads at speeds of 80 km/h and
100 km/h. After 2 h, a traffic helicopter that is above and between the two cars takes readings on them.
The angle of depression to the slower car is 200, and the straight-line distance from the helicopter to
that car is 100 km. Assume both cars are travelling at constant speed.
a. Calculate the straight-line distance, to the nearest kilometer, from the helicopter to the faster
b. Determine the altitude of the helicopter to the nearest kilometer.

2. Simone is facing north at the entrance of a tunnel through a mountain. She notices that a 1515 m high
mountain in the distance has a bearing of 2700 and its peak appears at an angle of 350. After she exits
the tunnel, the same mountain has a bearing of 2580 and its peak appears at an angle of elevation of 310.
Assume that the tunnel is perfectly level and straight, how long is it to the nearest metre?

3. An observer is a search and rescue aircraft observes an object on the water at an angle of depression of
a. If the aircraft is flying at a height of 600 m, determine the horizontal distance to the sighted
object from the airplane to the nearest metre.
b. If the airplane is flying at 240 km/h toward the object, determine how many seconds will pass
before the aircraft will be directly above the sighted object to the nearest second.

4. A surveyor has been hired by a resort developer to determine if a mountain is high enough to develop
with a ski lift. The surveyor approaches the problem as follows:

In the valley below he sets up a transit at point K and sights an angle of elevation to a prominent rock R
at the top to be 480. He moves the transit to a second point M and measures the angle of elevation to R
to be 45.30.
a. If the distance KM is 100 m across level ground, and the line KM when extended meets a
perpendicular from R, determine the height of the mountain.
b. Find the length of the ski run from R to K.
5. Two ships leave a harbour H, the first at 12:00 and the second at 12:30. The first ship sails on a course
of N300E at a speed of 20 km/h. The second ship sails on a course of S200E at 15 km/h. Determine the
distance between the two ships at 14:30 to the nearest kilometer.

6. Two mountain peaks R and T can be observed from an alpine meadow. To estimate the straight-line
distance between the peaks, members of a hiking party measure out a 500 m baseline AB in the
meadow where A, B; R and T are the same plane. The angles from A and B to the peaks are then
measured and BAR=1550, BAT=330, ABT=1450, and ABR=210 Determine the distance RT to the
nearest metre.

7. Two fire towers are located 100 km apart on high hills T and R. The bearing from T to R is north east. A
fire F is observed from tower T at N100E and from tower R at N750W. The town of Pretty Valley, at
point V, is on a bearing of N250E from T and S700W from R. The observers report the wind is blowing
the fire directly toward Pretty Valley at a rate of 8 km/h. How many hours do the officials have to
evacuate the town?

1. a) 39 km
5. 73 km

b) 34 km
6. 9824 m

2. 605 m
7. 4h 7.8 min

3. a) 2599 m

b) 39 s

4. a) 1121 m

b) 1509 m

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