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t. Write an equation for altitude a (in feet) of the skydiver as a function of the time t (in seconds) after reaching terminal velocity.

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1 Answer

Katie,
 
Once the skydiver reaches terminal velocity, then he will be falling with constant speed.  The distance he falls in time t will then be d = (160 ft/s)·t.  And his altitude above the ground (height h) will be his altitude when the parachute opened minus the distance he has fallen so we can write:
 
h = (3200 ft) - (160 ft/s)·t
 
As a point of interest, the time it will take him to fall all the way to the ground is t = (3200 ft)/(160 ft/s) = 20 s