Man arrested for impersonating pilot

2013-03-25 12:15

Philadelphia - A 61-year-old French man was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport and charged with impersonating a pilot after airline officials found him in the cockpit of a plane scheduled for takeoff, police said Friday.

ETN reports that the crew of a US Airways flight bound for West Palm Beach, Fla., found Philippe Jernnard of La Rochelle, France, in the jump seat behind the pilot on Wednesday evening.

Jernnard, who was a ticketed passenger, was wearing a white shirt with an Air France logo and had a black jacket with epaulets on the shoulders, police said. Officer Christine O'Brien said police found him in possession of a counterfeit Air France crew member ID card.

When he couldn't produce valid identification and became argumentative, he was removed from the aircraft. h

Air France said Jernnard is not one of its employees and was not wearing the airline's uniform.
It's not clear how Jernnard got into the cockpit, but one security expert said he didn't view it as a breach.

Pilots can typically ride for free in the jump seat of another airline, but they must make arrangements ahead of time and their presence would be noted on a passenger manifest. That manifest is reviewed by the pilot before takeoff - meaning that Jernnard didn't have a chance of remaining, said Douglas Laird, former security director for Northwest Airlines.

Police said there's no indication Jernnard meant any harm. A US Airways spokeswoman referred questions to the FBI, which confirmed it is investigating but declined to comment.

 
Read more on:    travel international

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