In the help center, we have an important question unique to Aviation.SE which is:

What topics can I ask about here?

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Aviation Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

As you can see, it is a little... light on helpful information. Contrast this with Stackoverflow's on-topic page.

We need to guide and direct our new users, and this is a great place to send people who don't quite get what we have in mind.

I am looking for suggestions on how to change our on-topic help center answer to be more helpful and to describe what we are looking for in questions on our site!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ More and more questions appear on the site that are put on-hold or closed as being off-topic. The reference to the Help Center in the "closed because off-topic"-text is still not giving much guidance. I've used data.stackexchange to see which questions were closed by the aviation.se community for reason of being off topic. I've added these topics to the list below. Do you think we have collected enough now to improve the Help Center text? $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima Mod
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ Great, thank you for the help @DeltaLima! I'll work on this as soon as I get a little time (but I'm leaving town for the weekend tomorrow so it will most likely be next week unless someone else beats me to it). $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 2:43
  • $\begingroup$ I am not an aviation professional (active on SO) and I don't have the rep to close questions on this site. I think the problem is you are not enforcing the current guidelines strong enough. Way to many hypothetical (not even realistic) questions. I am in a catch 22 of I answer questions I would vote to close to get rep that would let me vote to close. It takes the same number of votes to close question here as SO where SO has a much higher volume. You also don't get many people that want to hobby in computing. Cool site but you have some interesting challenges. $\endgroup$
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ @blam Thanks for the comment. We have a core group of very active people here, and questions often get closed as off topic quite quickly. We have even had a number of discussions on meta about whether or not to close questions, similar to SO. If you feel like something should be closed, feel free to flag it for moderator attention until you can vote yourself! $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 4:47

1 Answer 1


on topic:

Broadly, any question about aviation is on-topic except the ones specifically identified as off-topic below. Some specific types of questions we welcome are:

  • Flying technique, maneuvers, navigation, etc.
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Aviation Weather
  • Aviation Regulations
  • Aircraft systems
  • Airport Operations
  • Aviation Safety
  • Operational Procedures
  • Aerodynamics related to aircraft

off topic:

  • Resource location questions
    (where to buy a specific part, "which headset is the best?", etc.)
  • Accident speculation
    ("What happened to Flight X?" when no conclusive investigative report exists)
  • Questions related more to air travel than to aviation. ("Why do people drink tomato juice during flight but not on the ground", "how many frequent flyer miles can I collect when I fly from ..."). This includes questions about what the TSA can do.
  • Asking for answers to your exam question. Asking for the methodology to get to the answer is very welcome though
  • Questions about legal actions to be taken when your flight was delayed, you encountered frightening turbulence, were made to believe you were almost involved in a crash, or the passenger next to you was smelly.
  • How to install or connect your flight simulator that you have saved from the scrapheap
  • Rockets for spaceflight
  • Finding funding for your aviation career.
  • Any questions when your name is Otto the Autopilot
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ comm wiki for everyone to edit $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ For "accident speculation", would it still be considered speculation if new information comes to light before the investigation has concluded? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 13:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Qantas94Heavy asking questions about how the new information affect a general aircraft would be fine, focusing on the accident is not $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 14:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ With a few minor changes for consistency with other network sites' style (and some trimming here and there) I've dropped this into our empty "On-Topic" page. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 1:46

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