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Is there any easy way to check to see if a CFI or commercial pilot has had past problems with the FAA? The question came to me after an old thread in one of the aviation forums pointed me to this crash report: https://www.wfsb.com/news/waterbury-flight-instructor-among-killed-in-ny-plane-crash/article_06e41c00-d066-11e8-a98c-7beca823cc54.html

The report says the pilot had had several enforcement actions against him, including having his CFI certificate revoked for falsifying logbook entries. My guess is his two passengers would have liked to know this before going on their fatal flight. The FAA certificate database only shows his ratings, not the enforcement actions. Where else could they have looked?

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    $\begingroup$ The FAA maintains a database of appeal actions, but I think enforcement actions can only be located through a FOIA request. I could not find anything online that shows enforcement actions against a pilot. That said, customers can always ask before engaging the services of a pilot. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez May 16 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ I asked the FAA if there is such a database. I'll let you know what they answer. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez May 23 at 9:05
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I asked FAA Airmen Services about this. There is no easy way to do what you want, as there is no online database that can be queried for pilot enforcement actions. They said you can send them a query by mail or email using this format:

                       In accordance with the Privacy Act   

    Date:          

    TO:                                                                                           
    FAA
    Aviation Data Systems Branch, AFS-620, ATTN:  Privacy Act
    PO Box 25082
    Oklahoma City, OK 73125
    Email:  9-amc-afs620-pa@faa.gov

    FROM:
    COMPANY NAME
    NAME OF COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE
    STREET/MAILING ADDRESS
    CITY STATE ZIP CODE
    Email address:  <Please enter your email address here>

    Under the authority of the PRIVACY ACT, I am requesting verification of
    current airman medical certificates, current airman certificates indicating level,
    category, class, and associated type ratings, including any limitations to those
    certificates and ratings and any and all information concerning FAA
    accidents/incidents, and/or FAA enforcement (AIE) history for the following
    airmen:

              Name:                              Date of Birth:            Certificate Number:
        1.
        2.
        3.
        4.
        5.
        6.
        7.
        8.
        9.
        10.

I understand that the response to my request should be mailed to me within 20
federal working days.  If you have any questions, please contact me at:  XXX-XXX-XXXX.


Sincerely,

I am surprised there isn't a faster mechanism for this. Enforcement actions should be public record, same as criminal conviction records. But I guess this process is geared towards background checks of pilots by potential employers, not the general public. Odds are it would take an act of Congress to change this.

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    $\begingroup$ I suspected the journalists in the article went this route. Thanks for the extra legwork. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Lee May 24 at 19:08

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