So often in T.L. there are questions asked by some which often involve complex answers which require a lot of time (and painful brain-dredging!) in compilation. For example just simpley asking a one-liner like "What effect does constant Mach have on EAS corrections at higher ISA devs for a given FL?" and stating nothing else is a real turn-off.
If a reason was given (JAR exam, bar-room bet, etc) it would certainley help motivate to make a response to tickley questions esp from this writer.
Couldn't agree more ... also, an indication of the poster's background so that the answer (on those occasions that we think we know something about the topic) can be skewed to a level appropriate to the poster's needs..... the answer to a graduate level engineer, for instance, might be a little different to that intended for a highschool level pilot training for his or her PPL. Both can be accurate, but may well differ in complexity and detail.
Esteemed moderator, is this worth a sticky - something along the lines of "established best practice when posting to tech log", along the lines of
- Use a title that indicates the point.
- State what the question is clearly?
- Give some indication of the reasons for the question (as others have said, a post-PhD aircraft designer may ask the same question as a high school student, but probably doesn't want the same answer).
Location: The home of Dudley Dooright-Where the lead dog is the only one that gets a change of scenery.
To: Genghis the Engineer PPRuNe Chief Flight Test Engineer
There is a built in problem with asking any question on this forum. The ‘postee” can identify his level of expertise, he can ask the question and state the reason for asking the question. It doesn’t matter the educational level or the background of the "postee" the problem will manifest itself as soon as the first answer is posted. After the first answer is posted and even assuming it is textbook in it’s presentation the second respondent will not quite agree and he/she will post his or her own answer to the question. The third respondent will not quite agree with respondents 1 & 2 and he /she will post their own version to the answer and so on. The more respondents there are it will raise the confusion factor by skewing the facts of the first answer and the original “postee” will be left wondering not only what the question was he/she will not get the answer he/she needed. IMHO
Last edited by Lu Zuckerman; 23rd Dec 2002 at 20:55.
Good idea. Let me think upon it and I will post below with a draft set of words which we can toss around until it is tidy enough to do the job.
I have noticed that tendency, Lu .. don't know if there is any way around it, especially with the inherent high egos born into the pilot fraternity ...
To some extent a variety of slants on the answer might assist the original poster to get his/her mind around concepts .. as any of us in training fields observe, often an answer which is straightforward for the majority still goes over a particular listener's head and one has to ferret about to find a different, more appropriate, or useful set of words, etc., which just happen to sit comfortably with the individual listener.
If one might be permitted a wry smile .. it might be that people are just as well getting the message early that, if a question be posed to ten pilots .. then one generally gets fifteen different answers.
I guess that a jointly four-way worked set of words for a sticky might be a useful way to a solution .. ?
Yes indeed - and I'd suggest an extension of the same philosophy to the "Questions" forum. After all, some questions posted here are worthy of this forum, but others are not so technical. Thus, we'd end up with two different standards of posts from all those varied "enquiring minds".
Some standardisation across the two forums (fora?? ) would be nice.
I also think that the "15 different answers" is a healthy thing, more often than not. Each answer will usually give a different slant to the stated problem. The "confusion factor" is, I believe, merely the price one pays for asking a question here!
The point Im tryin to make is that a complex answer would be forthcoming if I knew a bit about whos asking and the reason for the question.
Take 2 examples of the same question:
Example 1- Thread header: 737-300 Post: Can anyone tell me in simple terms what was actualy done to the 737 rudder system to prevent rudder hardovers?
Example 2 - Thread header: 737-300 rudder PCU Post: Hi. Im a 767 FO and currentley in a 737 command conversion ground school. Im having trouble comprehending what exactley the Boeing directive entailed regarding the rudder PCU to prevent potential hardovers. Can anyone help?
The example that would motivate a compilation of an in-depth response is obvious.
I actually agree with you Lu, but surely if we at-least start off with this sort of clear "statement of intent" the thread has a fighting chance of initially heading in the direction that the original poster might have hoped or needed. If the rest of us elect to then diverge into all sorts of fascinating technical discussion subsequently (and lets face it, we usually do) that surely doesn't negate the usefulness of a reasonably clear steer at the start from the questioner.
I picture the questioner (Q) as standing on at least TWO boundaries between knowledge and ignorance.
BOUNDARY 1: Q knows enough to ask the question, but not enough to answer the question.
BOUNDARY 2: Q probably has some technical qualifications and/or scientific understanding, and therefore may already know enough to understand the answer and may not need full explanations of every concept involved in the answer.
However, these boundaries may be so far away from A as to be out of sight.
So Q knows where these boundaries are, but the answerer (A) generally does not, and
Q also knows what sort of answer is sought, but A generally does not.
Therefore, it seems to me that in addition to precisely stating the question, somehow Q has to indicate:
(a) what she/he already knows about the subject of the question which enabled or caused him/her to ask the question
(b) his/her general educational level of knowledge/training
(c) What the answer should look like.
A simple example of (c) would be an answer drafted by Q with blanks for A to fill in!
As has already been said, a clear question is the most important requirement. A clear answer to a vague question can only be reached by accident.
Another concern, especially in some of the forums, is that there are those readers who, for whatever reason, choose not to ask the question ... but may have an interest in the answer .. and may represent a broad range of background knowledge and needs.
How best can the combatants address this problem .... ?
To my mind, the broad range of answers is one of the best things about this forum. The answer the questioner wants will be in there somewhere, but there will be a whole host of other useful and/or interesting information which we can all, including the questioner, benefit from.
If our hypothetical Engineering PhD student were to ask a question, specifying that (s)he was a PhD student, then the answers would most-likely be incomprehensible to the average reader. On the other hand, if the questioner makes no mention of his background, the answers will be interesting to all - and will most-likely include the answer which the questioner wants, too (and if not, the questioner can post another steering post).
I've learnt a whole load of things from this forum on subject which I wouldn't have even thought to ask about, simply because, by sheer luck, someone has posted an answer to someone else's question at a level which I understand. I'm sure that there are others who read this forum who know more than me, and others who know less than me, who have had similar experiences from different posts.
[Edit to note that, in the time it took me to type my huge 3-paragraph post, john has posted exactly the same thing in 3 lines!]