since I haven't found a comment on the pilot background checks you mentioned in this episode anywhere else yet, I'll post mine here:
Since I am a foreigner, I had to go through a TSA background / security screening procedure before I could even start my first dual.
for more details.
Every foreigner who wants to start training has to go through this!
Besides your money they take your personal information and your finger prints (of course for an additional fee at a separate flight school).
Now, if you have already gone through a green card or visa process, you don't have to share any additional information - they have it already...
Does it make me feel or flying overall any safer? IMHO no...
To the FAA /TSA's credit, the whole process is online and response time is, when you move from one step to the next in the flow, less than 12 hours; the fingerprints are scanned in, uploaded to the TSA and checked for usability -> I received my (positive) result in no time.
Your / our tax money at work and it actually worked.
Whether you agree with this at all or not, is a different question. But as a European: we are more used to the fact that the Government knows a lot about you and that's OK as long as they don't abuse it.
So, from my point of view, I wanted to start learning to fly, so I and the flight school had to do this whole process and I have not lost any time of my life clock
P.S. If this is the wrong section, feel free to move it