Today I have been told off by a moderator for providing too much details in a comment on this question: Since modern ADF receivers don't rotate, how do they work?. I had previously written an answer describing how arrays and beamforming work for radars. So I wrote something like (I needed to delete my comment, so this is my best memory):

The principle has been described in this answer How does a PESA radar work? at section "Array of radiators (electronically scanned array, ESA)" (array systems can steer their beam using phased arrays and beamforming)

I was told something like:

It's not the first time we tell you to not post answers or partial answers in comments, either your provide an answer or you let others answer.

It is obvious I was not answering the question, I did provide a link to an answer with my additional explanations about why this other answer for radar also pertains to this question about ADF.

My questions are: Was my attempt to link with an existing answer really wrong? If it was, why are the other comments below considered acceptable while they answer directly the question?

Partial answers provided in the last 4 days as comments

Explaining a "Great Circle Route" to young Civil Air Patrol cadets

  • Take an actual physical globe and stretch a string across it. There you go. According to his autobiography, that's how LIndbergh plotted his route (down to the level of specific compass headings to steer at any given time) from New York to Paris, using a globe in a public library.

With supplemental oxygen, what altitude can a pilot safely operate at?

  • I've done a chamber ride to 25000 and had no problems, but was only about 10-15 min at alt. Wouldn't want to be above 30k without a pressure suit, but the risk of the bends varies a lot from person to person.

Air Pollution and High Pass engines

  • “High bypass turbines” are irrelevant. Any burning of fuel creates pollution, whether you run it through an engine or pour it on the ground and light it with a match. I’m trying to be nice here, but being a layman to aviation isn’t the problem with this question…

Do jet nozzles reset after the engine is off for a while?

  • Why bother? Ensuring that the engine is correctly configured for startup should be done...at startup:)

How do flights fly on some special days when there are firecrackers bursting near the source/destination airport? [duplicate]

  • I once timed a flight to return home during a fireworks show. “Be advised, artillery east of the field” was all I heard from Tower, and it was quite disappointing how puny the show seemed from the air. None of it even reached pattern altitude.

How does HSI decide to give a left or right CDI indicaiton?

  • As 757togo touches on in his answer, the shortest turn in degrees isn’t always the most efficient, and rarely, if never, would you intercept at 90 degrees. A right turn gets you going in your planned direction, and a heading of 120 would work nicely. Diagram if out on paper if it helps - draw a right arc to 120, and a left arc to 180, with another turn to 090 and compare total distance traveled over the ground.

What inspired the unique design of the F-105 Thunderchief intakes?

  • As to why was it never copied, I think the air intake was too sensitive to yaw. You can imagine that in yawed conditions, the flow has to navigate the leading edge of the inlet before it can enter the inlet. This definitely has impact on the inlet performance.

How to calculate lift coefficient using pressure distribution?

  • One could argue there is not enough information given to properly calculate the lift coefficient. We don't know anything about the shape of the airfoil and the orientation of the surface at each point. If we assume a flat airfoil with different distributions at the top and at the bottom, then it becomes a matter of simply calculating the pressure at each point and integrating (trapezoid rule) over the top and bottom surfaces.

Why is 831.12(b) mentions "830.10 – Preservation of aircraft wreckage, mail, cargo, and records and paragraph" so difficult to find? [closed]

  • it didn't skip the section, 14 CFR 831 is a different section of the CFR's than 49 CFR 831, it wouldn't make sense to put it there.

Is there a specific form or format for a written report of a deviation, submitted per 91.3(c)?

  • Likely the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) responsible for the area where the event took place will send a letter to the pilot asking for a written description of the circumstances that resulted in the deviation from the regulation involved.

What is this unit above the autopilot panel in Boeing test aircraft?

  • This is the display for the time circuits as can be seen in the typical DeLorean dashboard. The flux capacitor is located on the bulkhead behind the pilots. You simply type in the target time then when the plane hits Vtt (approx 76.5 kts) you take off into the future. Btw, I looked online for a long time to find a real answer to this that’s not speculative. I couldn’t even figure out the logo of the manufacturer. Therefore I’m going to bounty your question out of curiosity.

Did commercial air planes in 1972 really not have some sort of automatic distress call equipment?

  • An Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) has been mandatory for most aircraft in the U.S. since 1973. Designed to be activated automatically (some have manual activation) during a crash (via g-force criteria). ELTs transmit an emergency signal on certain frequencies that are monitored while looking for an overdue aircraft. I don't know if Uruguay had similar rules applicable to the crash associated with your question.

  • Probably not. Even if it did, they were (still are) very unreliable. All airplanes in Canada have to have ELTs to fly more than 25 mi from the base aerodrome and they only go off as designed in crashes less than half the time overall.

  • There is no useful time between detecting the g-forces of a crash and the ELT antenna being shared off by them. Either the device can survive the crash—which it still can't—or it has to be sending the position during flight—which back then required radar coverage that was probably poor over the mountains.

  • I think perhaps you are underestimating the difficulty of recieving radio signals, or indeed, of doing anything, in a seriously mountainous area. You might compare the extensive (and fruitless) 2007 search for Steve Fosset.

  • GPS alone just lets the crashed plane know where it is. It's a purely one-way signal, the satellites literally just broadcast the current time, letting ground stations triangulate their own position. You need some other long range plane -> home base signal mechanism, whether it's satellite or shortwave / long-wave radio, for a beacon to alert anyone else that (1) the plane has crashed and (2) optionally where it is, if a GPS fix is available. Hollywood / pop culture always gets this wrong, with "GPS tracker" meaning there's also way to track the thing remotely

Ground Speed vs True Airspeed from Departure Point to Destination - time interval

  • Do you have any escalators near you? Try walking up an escalator that is going up. Then walk up one that is going down and note the difference. Then ruminate on how this might relate to headwind vs tailwind and let me know if that clears anything up.

  • It's because your departure point and your destination are both on the ground.

  • It may be easier to understand if you imagine swimming with, against or across the current of a river. Then consider that “wind” is just the current of air moving over the ground.

  • $\begingroup$ We have consistency, we have always had consistency. You just refuse to follow the agreed norms. If you want to change the policy feel free to suggest a change, but don't make out like you dont know the rules $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 5, 2021 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ Let's be 100% clear - if the question was a duplicate you should have voted to close. If it wasn't a duplicate you should have answered (possibly including relevant links or sections of other answers if relevant). If you didnt want to answer, that is fine also. What you shouldn't be doing is pseudo-answering in comments! Finally, we are actually human - with day jobs. We might miss some comments which might also fly close to the rules on this. Also, we will probably notice them eventually. I happened to notice yours after all - I wasn't picking on you specifically! $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 5, 2021 at 20:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Oh, one more thing - do you think, just maybe, that other user's seeing a high rep user like yourself posting pseudo answers in comments might, just might make the whole site harder to moderate and keep consistent with regard to this specific rule? Food for thought! $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 5, 2021 at 20:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Jamiec It is best to communicate with more respect. We all make mistakes in communicating - I have as well on this site, and I apologise for it. But please have a look at how best to communicate a point in a respectful way. And please refrain from punishing deletion behaviour, mins' post is not a duplicate of the one linked by you. Bianfable expresses things perfectly. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Dec 7, 2021 at 3:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Koyovis it absolutely is a duplicate of the two posts linked - or at very least if those agreed policies were followed we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's rehashing what has already been hashed $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 7, 2021 at 7:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Koyovis: FWIW from the FAQ: "the guidelines for closing a question as a duplicate are much broader on meta sites, and allow for closures where main sites do not." $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Dec 7, 2021 at 12:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Koyovis: Thanks for providing some light. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Dec 8, 2021 at 13:22
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Jamiec, it would seem to a casual observer that you, (as a moderator no less…) are exhibiting exactly the type of behavior you are railing against! Why don’t you distill your comments into an coherent answer rather than a multi-part rant? $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2021 at 4:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ymb1 Was that link all you wanted to add to this conversation? $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Dec 12, 2021 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall this is meta - this is where we're supposed the discuss these things. The rules here are different to the main site.... which should be somewhat obvious $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 12, 2021 at 14:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Very well then, but the comment character limit alone ought to have incentivized a more integrated response. $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2021 at 15:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall also, because this "question" was a thinly-veiled rant and thus does not warrant an answer, not to mention it is a duplicate of previous policy-setting discussions on meta as linked. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 12, 2021 at 15:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ And I agree on that point. Several of the “answers” quoted above are mine, so I bear some guilt in the matter, but I think it is important to distinguish between a comment containing information pointing out a flaw in the question, vs a bonafide answer to the question itself. I may expound on that point later… $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2021 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall pointing out flaws in the question are fine - that is what comments are for. Obviously constructively. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 12, 2021 at 18:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Some of my comments on this post have been deleted. Not cool. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Dec 20, 2021 at 6:24

1 Answer 1


I don't think your comment was inappropriate. You linked another relevant answer, which is explicitly mentioned in the When should I comment? section of the help center page on comments:

Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question [...]

This is totally allowed and IMHO it should remain allowed because it helps the OP to clarify what is still unclear after reading the related Q&A. Sometimes, the question is already fully answered, in which case the question can be closed as duplicate. Other times, the OP can improve the question to ask for something more specific, which in turn helps improving the quality of answers.

I cannot say why your comment was deemed inappropriate this time. My best guess is that our ◆ moderators are a bit overwhelmed by the huge amount of answers posted in comments (the long list you provided shows the extent of the problem) and simply made a mistake (they are human, after all)...

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 for "the long list you provided shows the extent of the problem", though at least one of them is a Back to the Future joke and is not an answer at all -- the moderators need help by users flagging actual answer attempts, since they don't have time to follow every post. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Dec 5, 2021 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ The inappropriate part was not so much the first sentence - that was a good indication that the q should/could have been closed as a dupe. For me, the second part was the pseudo answer "(array systems can steer their beam using phased arrays and beamforming)" $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 6, 2021 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec Thanks for sharing your reasoning! To me that part sounded more like explaining why the linked question answers the new one, but I can see your point... $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Dec 6, 2021 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for providing some light. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Dec 8, 2021 at 13:23

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