Falling and Air Resistance Printer Friendly Version
Bronco skydives and parachutes from a stationary helicopter. Various stages of fall are shown in positions a through f in the table shown below. Using Newton's 2nd law, find Bronco's acceleration at each position.

a = net F/m
a = (W - R)/m

You need to know that Bronco's mass, m, is 100 kg so his weight, W, is a constant 1000 N. The author is using the approximation, g = 10 m/sec2. Air resistance R varies with speed and cross-sectional area.

 a b c d e f
 Position Acceleration (m/sec2)
 a
 b
 c
 d
 e
 f

When Bronco's speed is least, his acceleration is
In which position(s) does Bronco experience a downward acceleration?
In which position(s) does Bronco experience an upward acceleration?
When Bronco experiences an upward acceleration, his velocity is
In which position(s) is Bronco's velocity constant?
In which position(s) does Bronco experience terminal velocity?
In which position(s) is terminal velocity greatest?
If Bronco were heavier, his terminal velocity would be