Pilot Impersonator Removed From Cockpit of US Airways Airplane

Photograph of Phillipe Jernnard courtesy of the Philadelphia Police Department and WTXF-TV Fox 29 Philadelphia.

Phillipe Jernnard was reportedly wearing a shirt sporting an old Air France logo with a black jacket and gold stripes, claiming to be a pilot for Air France when attempting to upgrade his ticket from an economy class seat to a business class seat on an aircraft operated by US Airways.

After supposedly being told by a gate agent at Philadelphia International Airport that there were no available seats in the business class cabin, Jernnard allegedly became upset and declared that he “hated Americans” before boarding the aircraft and attempting to sit in a seat located inside the cockpit.

Pilots reportedly became suspicious when Jernnard could not figure out how to get into the cockpit seat and was ultimately removed from the aircraft after he once again became upset.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States is now involved, as Jernnard reportedly faces several charges.

You might initially believe that this is another case of a person being mistaken for an airline employee and penetrating through all of the layers of airport security. However, it appears that in this case, Jernnard had a legitimate airline ticket and therefore could be assumed to have been properly screened at the airport security checkpoint — meaning that the Transportation Security Administration would not be at fault here.

My assumption is that — once aboard the aircraft — Jernnard should have been prevented by the flight crew from entry into the cockpit of the aircraft.

I suppose that the combination of being a French national and wearing a counterfeit Air France uniform would lend credibility for those believing that Jernnard was an actual pilot. I am uncertain as to the destination of the aircraft, but it seems a bit odd for me that Jernnard chose to impersonate a pilot on an airline which has no relationship with US Airways — and even if the purpose of the ploy was to secure an upgrade to a business class seat, why would Jernnard suddenly attempt to take a seat in the cockpit?

This all sounds like something from a bad Gérard Depardieu movie — or, even worse — from a bad incident in real life involving Gérard Depardieu…

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Comments (Showing 1 of 1)

  • Palal at 1:00pm March 22, 2013

    If it was on the ground, no harm done by entering the cockpit. There’s not much M. Jernnard could have done there while at the gate.

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