Enter the wind speed (knots) and the ground speed (miles/min) into the Calculator. The calculator will evaluate the Drift Angle. 

Drift Angle Formula

MDA  = WS / GS


  • MDA is the Drift Angle (degrees)
  • WS is the wind speed (knots)
  • GS is the ground speed (miles/min)

To calculate Drift Angle, divide the wind speed in knots by the ground speed in miles per minute. This gives an approximate value for the drift angle.

How to Calculate Drift Angle?

The following steps outline how to calculate the Drift Angle.

  1. First, determine the wind speed (knots). 
  2. Next, determine the ground speed (miles/min). 
  3. Next, gather the formula from above = MDA = WS / GS.
  4. Finally, calculate the Drift Angle.
  5. After inserting the variables and calculating the result, check your answer with the calculator above.

Example Problem : 

Use the following variables as an example problem to test your knowledge.

wind speed (knots) = 30

ground speed (miles/min) = 20