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When I originally defined this site on A51 I had an example question along the lines of

If a pedestrian is doing something (model rockets) near controlled airspace is it OK for them to contact ATC using a handheld radio or telephone?

That particular question was received well, but IMO it is bordering off-topic. Where will the line for questions like these be drawn? Should it be flexible, or something written into the site guidelines?

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    $\begingroup$ I actually don't see a problem with that question, why do you feel that it is borderline off-topic? $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Feb 21 '14 at 0:53
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In general, we need to be somewhat flexible and take questions on a case-by-case basis.

Most questions are pretty obvious one way or the other, but the "edge" cases should be discussed while we figure out what the community wants.

Once a decision is made on a particular "class" of questions, then it may be appropriate to add it into the "What's on topic" question in the help center, but again it depends. We don't want that document to get so large and bloated with tiny exceptions that nobody will ever read it.

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I think we are still a bit too early in the site to make final decisions on a matter like this.

That said, I'm glad to see more of these questions in Meta. Talking about it is how we develop our sense of the site's community.


Personally, I don't have issue with the question. It relates to controlled airspace, regardless of the impetus.

If the question was only about model rocketry, I would begin to consider off-topic. Honestly, I would expect little traction to occur for a question focused in this way, and once out of beta we would see that as one pattern of tumbleweed questions.

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