Pilots are pretty easy to spot. They tend to wear the uniforms of the airlines of which they are employed. So when a pilot wearing an Air France ensemble got into the cockpit of a US Airways flight bound for Palm Beach, Fla. last Wednesday at Philadelphia International Airport, the US crew was a bit confused.
Turns out their instinct that something was wrong was right because the ‘pilot’ was actually 61-year-old Philippe Jernnard of La Rocelle, France.
The man wore a shirt with an Air France logo and a fake black pilot jacket. He managed to get all the way to the plane’s cabin with a counterfeit Air France crewmember ID. Yikes.
When the flight crew asked him why he was in the cockpit behind the captain’s seat of the plane, he became argumentative. It became pretty apparent that he wasn’t who he said he was after he had a hard time operating the jump-seat and was immediately removed from the flight, arrested, and charged with “criminal trespass, tampering with records, impersonating a person privately employed, and presenting false ID to law enforcement.” Double yikes.
It’s a good thing crewmembers on board were paying careful attention because someone missed an important step in the security process. But luckily no one was harmed, and from now on, flight crews are sure to be on the lookout for fake French fliers.