Do pilots need to be good in math?

A would-be pilot who calls him or herself padmaraj has posted a question on Ask a Flight Instructor regarding the math skills required to be a pilot:

I would like to become a pilot, but math has never been a strong subject for me. Are strong math skills necessary to become a pilot?

However, its not clear what kind of pilot padmaraj intends to become e.g. a general aviation, commercial or military pilot.

John D. Collins responded by writing that  average math skills will suffice using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division plus most calculations can be performed on a calculator or by using flight planning software. John noted that pilots will need “to be able to read and use performance charts for flight planning takeoff and landing distances, climb performance, time in route and fuel consumption, do weight and balance, and a few other tasks.” John also added that the most complicated math a pilot needs to use operationally is to determine the effect of winds on performance and the correction in heading to maintain a course, but even these calculations can be done using a calculator (which is permitted on the knowledge exam) or a mechanical E6B flight computer.

Heather H then added that what confused her math-rise as a student was the interpolation of performance charts or finding the winds aloft temperatures/speeds/directions at a specific altitude for cross country planning. However, she added that a E6B will do much of the in-flight math for you.

Obviously all of the new technology today (e.g. glass cockpits, iPad apps etc) means that most general aviation pilots today probably don’t need good math skills (heck, airplanes can almost fly themselves!), but we would like to ask any readers, whether commercial or general aviation pilots: Did or do you think that having poor math skills would hinder your ability to become or be a pilot, especially a commercial or military pilot?

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