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Would it be on topic if a question such as this was asked?

Currently, I have xxx aircraft. Its fuel economy was great, but I've found that 2 seats isn't enough for the mission. I usually fly around 200NM, but sometimes I have to fly out between ADH and AEG (500nm direct). I'm looking for a piston aircraft with 4-6 seats that's capable of doing the mission, with a price of less than $500k. I usually fly with myself and the wife, but a baby's coming along in a few months and we'd need to add the payload for the baby too. Is there any aircraft on the market that can do this?

What do you think makes this question off-topic or on-topic, and why?

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I think this would make an excellent topic for chat, maybe even a blog posting, but I don't think that it's a good fit for a "Q&A" topic on the main site.

This question is insidious because it ticks every box for "Great Subjective Question" on Jeff's blog posting:

  • You can give great "Why" and "How" answers
  • You can write long, detailed explanations justifying the above
  • It's impartially worded (Not "Which is better, X or Y?")
  • It "invites sharing experiences over opinions" (though to be fair it kind of invites both equally)
  • It can be backed up with facts and references (aircraft specs)

Despite that I still think it falls into the "bad subjective" end of the opinion-based pool. There are just too many possible aircraft that fit any given mission, and a lot of the choice comes down to "Which do you, as the pilot, like better when you're flying it?"
The best we'd be giving someone is a list of aircraft to test-fly.

(In this particular case the Cessna 206 (Skywagon), Cessna 210 (Centurion), Piper PA-32 (Cherokee Six), and Piper PA-46 (Malibu) all sprang immediately to mind - they all fit the mission described with varying degrees of (excess) capability, can be had (used) for well within the stated budget, leaving cash for upgrades and nice-to-have features. I could convincingly argue that every one of these is "The Right Plane For Someone" because they're all good, solid aircraft.)

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This probably falls under "primarily opinion based" and would therefore be off-topic, since it'd generate countless answers, and shopping list questions tend to attract spam.

That said, if there's a niche plane needed for a specific mission, I think this would be on-topic.

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Hmmm...I'm biased, but I'd have to say that so long as the question is specific to a particular need (like my aerial photography question) then it should be allowed. I know it involves a bit of opinion, but I tend to think one of the many points of this site is to help spread expert opinions. Sometimes there isn't one right answer, but there can be several good ones and the question/answers are still productive at that point.

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