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Homework Statement
I have worked out at problem using the conservation of mechanical energy and the answer is correct.
I have also worked out the problem using kinematics and got the same answer.
My problem is that I can't wrap my brain around why it works out using the conservation of mechanical energy.
Here is a statement of the problem (a graphic is attached as well with my solutions and some questions):
"A motorcyclist is trying to leap across the canyon by driving horizontally off the cliff. When it leaves the cliff, the cycle has a speed of 38.0 m/s. Ignoring air resistance what is the speed when the driver strikes the ground on the other side?"
Homework Equations
1/2mvi^2 + mghi = 1/2mvf^2 + mghf
vf^2 = vi^2 + 2gd
The Attempt at a Solution
Please see attached w/ my included questions.
Attachments

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