The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Man Arrested On US Airways Flight After Impersonating Pilot

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:59 am

A 61-year-old French man on a US Airways flight out of Philadelphia almost got an upgrade by playing pilot.

Philippe Jernnard of La Rochelle, France, had a ticket and was denied an upgrade for the West Palm Beach, Fla., flight departing Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday. He later showed up in the cockpit jump seat wearing a white shirt with an Air France logo and a black jacket with epaulets, CBS News reports.

CBS says Jernnard had what appeared to be an Air France flight crew identification card that was later found to be counterfeit:

"When questioned by flight crew, he allegedly identified himself as a 747 pilot for Air France. When asked to produce proper credentials, Jernnard became argumentative.

"He was removed from the flight and detained by police. He has been charged with criminal trespass, tampering with records, impersonating a person privately employed and presenting false ID to law enforcement."

[Update at 11:55 a.m. ET: Air France issued a statement denying that Jernnard works for the airline:

"This person was not wearing an Air France uniform, badge (Crew Member Certificate) or carrying an Air France crew baggage," the emailed statement said. "Regarding the badge, it was a very poor fake badge, which in no way resembled the Air France Crew Member Certificate (CMC)."]

How Jernnard got into the cockpit is still under investigation. He's being held on $1 million bail.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.