Dispatching: How much math is involved?

#1
I've been wanting a position in airplane dispatching for quite a while now and am planning on applying for Sheffield's program next year to get the FAA dispatcher license. I'm convinced that this is what I want to do for a living but I'm extremely anxious because my mathematics skills are very poor. I've never taken any calculus, physics, or engineering classes because I'm in the middle of obtaining a liberal arts degree, so I'm pretty much screwed if I fly myself out to take the program but am unable to follow it because of my lacking math skills. I'm more than willing to study up on whatever I need to before applying for the program and am planning on pre-studying for the ADX written exam (I heard that this section just requires rigorous memorization). If there's anyone who could give me some insight on how much math is involved in obtaining the FAA dispatching license/ actual dispatching, it would be so helpful. Thanks in advance!
 

seagull22

Well-Known Member
#2
It's a lot of basic math, adding, subtracting and dividing. The biggest part of the job is being able to make a decision under pressure and then sticking with the decision.

As far as the ADX goes I would recommend Sheppard Air, I think its like 80 bucks but its just memorization. Once your done with the ADX there isn't a whole lot that is applicable to daily dispatching.

You need to add fractions to find alternate minimums and must be able to do that fast at times. Other then that study up on weather (charts, theory, forecasts), regulations and how to read the MEL list.

If you have any other questions send me a PM
 
#3
It's a lot of basic math, adding, subtracting and dividing. The biggest part of the job is being able to make a decision under pressure and then sticking with the decision.

As far as the ADX goes I would recommend Sheppard Air, I think its like 80 bucks but its just memorization. Once your done with the ADX there isn't a whole lot that is applicable to daily dispatching.

You need to add fractions to find alternate minimums and must be able to do that fast at times. Other then that study up on weather (charts, theory, forecasts), regulations and how to read the MEL list.

If you have any other questions send me a PM
Thank you very much for the information! I've heard a lot of good things about Sheppard Air and have definitely made up my mind to invest in it sometime soon. It's relieving to hear that only grade-school math is involved in dispatching.

I've done a bit of digging on the minimum equipment list but am at a loss on how to "study" it. Should I just be aware of how to read what's on the sheet (such as knowing what repair category C entails, what (M) and (O) entails) or should I be studying in-depth on every single part of the MEL list's components (all the aircraft's parts and their respective functions, etc)?
 

autosave36

Well-Known Member
#6
I've been wanting a position in airplane dispatching for quite a while now and am planning on applying for Sheffield's program next year to get the FAA dispatcher license. I'm convinced that this is what I want to do for a living but I'm extremely anxious because my mathematics skills are very poor. I've never taken any calculus, physics, or engineering classes because I'm in the middle of obtaining a liberal arts degree, so I'm pretty much screwed if I fly myself out to take the program but am unable to follow it because of my lacking math skills. I'm more than willing to study up on whatever I need to before applying for the program and am planning on pre-studying for the ADX written exam (I heard that this section just requires rigorous memorization). If there's anyone who could give me some insight on how much math is involved in obtaining the FAA dispatching license/ actual dispatching, it would be so helpful. Thanks in advance!
Fear not. Im horrible at math and im doing just fine. Math at work is all stuff you can do with a calculator. Now adx, i spent hours teaching myself the math for it, especially weight and balance. You will need some math but thats more "if i need to find this i must do this or find that" stuff. It all is very much calculator based once you know the steps. Just put the time in, ask fellow classmates for help if you have them.
 

IamNegan

Well-Known Member
#7
When you start to put letter with numbers, I just walk away....and call it a day.....lol

As others have stated - it's basic math....So you should be fine. Fractions are the most tricky if you ask me but still basic math.

You mentioned apply at Sheffield, a very good school but keep your options open, if it is close to you, then that's another story. It honestly doesn't matter where you go, you learn how to dispatch at your first job and learn the basics at DX school. I have worked with people that went to Jeppesen, Flamingo, iFod, Sheffield and Sonora Wings (Yes I am old).
 

Scarebus

Well-Known Member
#8
I'm probably on your math level. In college I had to start in 8th grade level math and work my way up to the required math class for my degree. Needed tutoring on every single assignment. I have never had any problems on the job. As long as you can add and subtract on a calculator you will be fine. The software does all of the real math for you.
 

DogwoodLynx

Well-Known Member
#9
Thank you very much for the information! I've heard a lot of good things about Sheppard Air and have definitely made up my mind to invest in it sometime soon. It's relieving to hear that only grade-school math is involved in dispatching.

I've done a bit of digging on the minimum equipment list but am at a loss on how to "study" it. Should I just be aware of how to read what's on the sheet (such as knowing what repair category C entails, what (M) and (O) entails) or should I be studying in-depth on every single part of the MEL list's components (all the aircraft's parts and their respective functions, etc)?

In class you'll study about a plane's system (usually B-737, but not sure if all schools use the same thing) to pass the practical exam. After that, your employer will teach you about MELs. For now, just know that some MX items can be deferred, and that some problems are performance restrictive. Your school will teach you what problems those are.
 

Mainline_or_bust

Two days before, the day after tomorrow
#10
Know lots of people who have never seen a quadratic equation, don’t know a derivative from the Pythagorean theorem and cosine is in reference to lending. Math skills will help you understand the physics of flight and the performance information you calculate for every flight. However, this doesn’t require a math degree and math isn’t the most important part of the job.

You need to have basic math, (add, divide, subtract, multiply) down to perfection. Screwing up means landing over weight, not having the right amount of fuel etc. But while calculus, statistics and trigonometry are everywhere around you daily and especially in aviation, you don’t need to understand them whatsoever.

Functional use of Algebra is probably as in-depth as needed, if that. Every computer I’ve used at work has a calculator and if not I’m sure your phone does.
 

QXDX

Well-Known Member
#11
I've been wanting a position in airplane dispatching for quite a while now and am planning on applying for Sheffield's program next year to get the FAA dispatcher license. I'm convinced that this is what I want to do for a living but I'm extremely anxious because my mathematics skills are very poor. I've never taken any calculus, physics, or engineering classes because I'm in the middle of obtaining a liberal arts degree, so I'm pretty much screwed if I fly myself out to take the program but am unable to follow it because of my lacking math skills. I'm more than willing to study up on whatever I need to before applying for the program and am planning on pre-studying for the ADX written exam (I heard that this section just requires rigorous memorization). If there's anyone who could give me some insight on how much math is involved in obtaining the FAA dispatching license/ actual dispatching, it would be so helpful. Thanks in advance!
Since you're still in school, how about taking some math classes?
 
#12
Thank you for all of the feedback and advice, I'll make sure to keep them in mind! It's great to hear from experienced people working in the field.

I would definitely consider taking math classes in my university but I only have one semester left (21 credits) and 20 of those course credits have to be from my major (international studies) in order for me to graduate. Judging by the responses so far, I'm hoping that the math involved in dispatching is simple enough to be self-taught.
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
#13
There are free online courses you can take if you need to brush up on the basics, here's one site:

Arithmetic | Khan Academy

As others have mentioned, though, almost all the math is done by the computer. It doesn't hurt to be able to add numbers in your head though for calculating alternate minimums, though, so if you haven't looked at a math problem since high school, might not hurt to brush up on the basics before you go to dispatch school.
 

DogwoodLynx

Well-Known Member
#14
We use a lot of computers to calculate numbers and sometimes the software can do stupid things. It’s important to know basic math so if something doesn’t look right you can manually fix it
 

A-9er

Well-Known Member
#17
I've been wanting a position in airplane dispatching for quite a while now and am planning on applying for Sheffield's program next year to get the FAA dispatcher license. I'm convinced that this is what I want to do for a living but I'm extremely anxious because my mathematics skills are very poor. I've never taken any calculus, physics, or engineering classes because I'm in the middle of obtaining a liberal arts degree, so I'm pretty much screwed if I fly myself out to take the program but am unable to follow it because of my lacking math skills. I'm more than willing to study up on whatever I need to before applying for the program and am planning on pre-studying for the ADX written exam (I heard that this section just requires rigorous memorization). If there's anyone who could give me some insight on how much math is involved in obtaining the FAA dispatching license/ actual dispatching, it would be so helpful. Thanks in advance!
Hi,

The highest level of math I used was very simple and BASIC algebra, and that was only at Sheffield; it was only in DX school. We didn't go beyond the addition and subtaction of positive and negative numbers-like first or second week basic algebra. If you ever studied algebra during your life, you'll be fine in school. On the job, a good grasp of arithmetic will be more than sufficient.
 
Top