Fake pilot arrested on US Airways flight

9:49 AM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
Philippe Jernnard (WCAU)
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PHILADELPHIA (NBC) -- A man caught impersonating a pilot was arrested after he boarded a plane scheduled to fly from Philadelphia International Airport to West Palm Beach, Fla, authorities said.

Philippe Jernnard, 61, of France, boarded the U.S. Airways flight Wednesday night, according to the FBI.

Rosemary Connors from NBC station WCAU talked with airport police Capt. Michael Murphy who says that Jernnard was wearing an Air France shirt, had an Air France bag and presented a ticket to the gate agent and walked onto the plane.

The gate agent told authorities that Jernnard had asked if there was any room in first class and was told "no."

According to the arrest report, Jernnard became irate after being told "no" and told her that he hated Americans and began to argue with her.

When the gate agent finished boarding the flight and went to close the plane's doors for takeoff, the arrest report states that she saw Jernnard sitting in the jump seat behind the captain's seat and his carry-on bag was stowed in the cockpit.

"She just assumes he takes his seat in coach and when she goes in to inform co-captain of the number of passengers on the flight that's when she kind of recognizes he's out of place," said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker.

According to the arrest report, the agent told Jernnard that he couldn't sit there unless he filled out paperwork and the captain told him to return to his assigned seat.

Police say Jernnard started arguing and that's when they notified authorities.

The captain and first officer told authorities the man told them he was a pilot with Air France and knew how to fly 747s, but they became suspicious when he couldn't figure out how to open the jump seat.

After Jernnard was taken off the plane, police found an Air France ID card that had been changed to match his name.

Jernnard was arrested and charged with criminal trespass, tampering with records, impersonating a person privately employed and false ID to law enforcement. He will be charged federally Friday morning.

(NBC News)

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