A question about deciphering an ATC recording was posted today:

Pilot communication with ATC partially unreadable

Can anybody decipher this pilot's landing request due to moderate turbulence (some unreadable words...). Thanks ! https://www.icloud.com/iclouddrive/03kDM9-xQ7Oyz3kUaeRJj6M5Q#AUDIO-2021-12-03-07-51-16

I didn't really know what to do with it in review, so I skipped it and ask here:

Should we allow questions like this as on-topic? I don't see how such a question would be of benefit to the community. The help center How do I ask a good question? page says

Make it relevant to others

We like to help as many people at a time as we can. Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you, and more of us will be interested in your question and willing to look into it.

But this doesn't automatically make it off-topic. There is also the case of aircraft identification questions, which are of similar little use to others, but are usually popular questions and as previously discussed (here and here) are on-topic.

An additional problem I see with the question above is that the audio recording is only available on an icloud drive, which may disappear in the future. This might make the question completely useless to others in the future.

  • $\begingroup$ I think we've arrived at the point that the icloud link is already dead - can you confirm you get the same? If so, the question is toast $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 15, 2021 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec I can still download the file. But eventually it's going to disappear... $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Dec 15, 2021 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, its a window waiting to be broken essentially $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Dec 15, 2021 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ All these icloud links will be lost in time, like tears in rain. $\endgroup$
    – Jack Deeth
    Feb 9, 2022 at 21:45

2 Answers 2


I don't see how such a question would be of benefit to the community.

Neither do I; however, chat exists for this, and I have used chat before for precisely this kind of question, as have others (both examples were answered).

This might make the question completely useless to others in the future.


FWIW, there's another such question from two years ago, so at least the frequency is low.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Chat seems like a perfectly reasonable option. However, it's not an option for the person who posted the question because she's a new user who still only has 21 rep and it takes 50 to access chat. Unfortunately, SE's rules preclude the perfectly reasonable option. :( $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Dec 9, 2021 at 14:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oops... it takes only 20 rep to chat. Still, though, she couldn't have asked the question in chat without asking the question and getting a couple of random up votes, at which time the question should probably be deleted and the user directed to chat. But, new users are probably not likely to go to chat if their question has been close because closing it seems "unfriendly" and "unwelcoming". A nice Catch-22 SE has backed us into. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Dec 9, 2021 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan It is possible to have a moderator allow the user access to chat if they're below 20 rep, so I suppose they could always just ask a mod in...oh wait :/ $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2021 at 3:43

It mainly seems too broad and just asking people to do the work of transcribing the recording. However it is very close to on topic and could be corrected to meet typical standards if the user had written what they heard in the recording and then asked the meaning of specific terms in the context.


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