A French man was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport and charged with impersonating a pilot after he was found in the cockpit of a plane scheduled for takeoff, police said Friday.
The crew of a US Airways flight bound for West Palm Beach, Fla., found Philippe Jernnard, 61, of La Rochelle, France, in the jump seat behind the pilot Wednesday, removing him after he couldn’t produce credentials, police said.
Jernnard, a ticketed passenger, wore a white shirt with an Air France logo and a black jacket with epaulets, police said. Officer Christine O’Brien said he had a counterfeit Air France crew member ID card.
Air France said Jernnard is not one of its employees and was not wearing the airline’s uniform.
It is unclear 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.