Trying to find out if an individual possesses a pilot’s license/certification? As an alternative to the FAA site, try Landings.com. The site maintains an extensive database, with several search options. The simple template includes a variety of fields including name, city, state, and medical class. It also allows the searcher to select specific certifications. The Online Journalism Review wrote a nice summary of the website.
For aviation accident information, use the NTSB Aviation site. The “NTSB aviation accident database contains information from 1962 and later about civil aviation accidents and selected incidents within the United States…..Generally, a preliminary report is available online within a few days of an accident. Factual information is added when available, and when the investigation is completed, the preliminary report is replaced with a final description of the accident and its probable cause.”
The NTSB website also includes statistical data. Other resources include PDF versions of the Investigation Guide and procedure manuals.