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Every aviation site eventually gets "the money questions" -- We already have a few of these:

so I think it's time to ask the tough internal question: How do we want to handle them?

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My two cents:

Questions that ask for nothing more than a cost estimate should be considered off-topic.
It's really hard to answer cost questions generally -- costs vary from country to country, and they can even vary substantially within a country or even within the same city (particularly true of training costs, where frequency of training can be a huge factor).

A few of them (like the three "How much should it cost to get some rating." questions) are going to keep getting asked, so they should probably be edited to be generic and have a canonical answer posted that lists the requirements and some sample calculations with assumed numbers (like pondlife's answer on the first one). They can then be used as duplicate targets for similar questions about the same rating.
(Ideally I think we should build these in layers - a good answer for Private, then Instrument refers back to Private, Commercial refers back to Private and Instrument. ATP refers back to Commercial, Private & Instrument - so someone can follow the whole chain and we don't need to update a bunch of answers if the requirements for a Private certificate changes.)


Questions that ask for cost factors may be on-topic.
Similar to the logic for canonicalizing a few of the "How much should it cost" questions, we can list factors (and give example numbers) - these run the risk of becoming "List of Things" answers, but I think we can avoid that with judicious voting and editing...

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you think we need a custom close reason for "money" reasons, or does "too broad" and "primarily opinion-based" convey the message sufficiently? $\endgroup$ – Qantas 94 Heavy Jan 25 '14 at 9:53
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    $\begingroup$ I think this is a good general approach, cost questions are definitely of interest to a lot of people and it would be difficult to ignore them completely. But we should limit answers to costs that can be estimated with 'standard' assumptions, like ratings; things like the price of avgas or second-hand aircraft should definitely be OT and as you said, good responses from the community should handle that anyway. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jan 25 '14 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ Putting a dollar value on a student's training is always an exercise in guesswork anyway. No two students start from the same place in background knowledge, ability to learn, and so on. $\endgroup$ – Steve V. Jan 25 '14 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that cost factors may be on topic. I know when I was looking at owning an airplane, it wasn't specific numbers I was looking for, but an idea of what all I might have to pay for. $\endgroup$ – Canuk Jan 28 '14 at 5:06

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