Is it okay if I ask for the location of an official statute or some other source of information to provide a source for something that I already know the answer to?

For example, would asking, "what defines weight-shift as one of the seven official aircraft categories recognized by the FAA," be considered acceptable as opposed to asking, "is weight-shift an official aircraft category recognized by the FAA?"

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    $\begingroup$ I'm curious about why your gut says "don't ask here"? We have plenty of questions about FAA definitions used in regulations, and this seems like another one to me. Asking "what is the FAA's definition of X?" is definitely on topic here. So one obvious answer to the question of "what is a good source?" is: right here on aviation.SE. I guess I'm missing something from what you mean. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    May 21, 2016 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ I mean source as in a reference. Like the source of a quote. Not source in the sense of "source of information" or "place to find something." $\endgroup$ May 21, 2016 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ So it begs the question then; is it okay to ask people to find the source of an answer rather than to find or provide an actual answer? Maybe this should be edited to say that in the title, but I'm unable to right now, no time. Gotta work. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2016 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ That seems fair game to me. We have a lot of questions about specific statutes. Some people on here are really good at finding specific references among the dense and confusung legalese of regulations and advisory circulars etc. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    May 23, 2016 at 3:20

2 Answers 2


You could simply ask something like "Which regulation requires a pilot to have a pilot certificate in order to fly an aircraft?". This would result in an answer something like "14 CFR 61.3".

However why not make the question and answer more helpful for future visitors and ask "Are pilots required to have a pilot certificate or license? I've searched Google and haven't been able to find an actual regulation which requires it, but surely that can't be right!" This would solicit answers which contain both the reference and a little background for people who aren't quite as knowledgeable as you.

The purpose of the SE sites is to make the internet a better place, and you can get the answer to your question and help others out in the future if you simply expand the scope of your question slightly.


Yes, it is acceptable to ask for the location of an official reference for a rule as the sole question being asked.


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