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I was taking a look at the following answer, which said:

Call up your local FSDO (that's the acronym for the FAA's Flight Standards District Office) and ask them. Go to the source!

Now this could be a reply for almost anything regulatory-related, but sometimes isn't very useful. Should these types of answers be considered as quality answers, and if not, what should we do about them?

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My general feeling is no -- it may certainly be part of an answer ("blah blah blah blah blah, but you should call your local FSDO as their interpretation is ultimately the one that will matter."), but it isn't something that can really stand on its own.


I think a question that can ONLY be answered by calling your local FSDO is probably not a quality question (at least as far as the site is concerned) until such time as the person asking contacts their FSDO and receives an answer.

I can't even think of anything offhand that I'd ask here where the only answer would be a call to the FSDO, but I envision it being something that would require them to issue a letter interpreting a regulation, or something similar.
The FSDO's answer would be the answer to the question, being an authoritative interpretation that could be cited as precedent, and that is certainly worth sharing, but the "You need to call your FSDO, and please tell us what they say!" bit would be a comment letting the person asking know that we can't give them a good answer, not an answer itself...

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually, different FSDOs can interpret the regulations differently, which could make for an even weirder situation. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Jan 8 '14 at 5:34
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    $\begingroup$ @egid this is true, but seems to be becoming less common (at least if something is complex enough that they feel they need to give a written interpretation - it seems those all get kicked back to Oklahoma City lately). $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jan 8 '14 at 5:57
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Not unless it is the only thing that is appropriate for the answer, but there are only a few questions that I can think of where that would be true, like:

How do I get an appointment with the FAA to get ...?
How do I get a letter of authorization for ...?
How do I contact someone at the FAA?

In the particular case that you linked to, I think that a down vote with a comment explaining why would be appropriate (which I added), and if they don't edit the answer them we should flag it as a low quality answer.

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