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Man Charged With Impersonating A Pilot Gained Access To A US Airways Cockpit
By Shane Nolan

April 25, 2013 - A French citizen was charged on Tuesday with fraud in connection with his alleged attempt to pose as an Air France pilot at Philadelphia International Airport. The charge is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). 

Philippe Jeannard, 61, of La Rochelle, France, is charged with one count of fraud in connection with an identification document.  

According to court documents Jeannard boarded a commercial airplane, possessed a fraudulent Air France identification card of a former Air France employee and used that fraudulent identification card to gain access to the plane's cockpit. 


On March 20, 2013, Jeannard checked in at US Airways ticket counter with his paid ticket for a Florida bound flight. He requested from the ticket agent an upgrade but was told there were no other available seats. Jeannard became upset. The ticket agent noticed that he was wearing an Air France pilot’s shirt with captain's bars.  

A US Airways supervisor asked Jeannard if he was an airline pilot with Air France. Jeannard replied that he was. Jeannard presented an Air France ID card. The supervisor asked Jeannard if he wanted to speak to the pilots of the Florida bound flight.  

Jeannard was allowed walk down the Florida bound aircraft’s jetway were he boarded the aircraft. He spoke with the pilot and copilot while they were performing their preflight duties. Jeannard told the pilots he was a Boeing 747 pilot with Air France. The pilots allowed Jeannard to be seated in the cockpits jump seat.  

Passengers began to board the aircraft. A gate agent noticed Jeannard sitting in the jump seat behind the pilot and told Jeannard if he was going to remain on the flight and fly the jump seat he would be required to go back to the ticket counter and fill out the necessary forms.



Jeannard left the cockpit but became verbal abusive. He was told that he would not be able to take the flight due to his outbursts. As a result the authorities were notified. Jeannard later told authorities that he was not a pilot and that that his mother had been employed with Air France and that he had falsified her ID card by adding his name, photo and status as a crew member. If convicted, Jeannard faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

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