Fake Air France pilot used mother’s ID

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Frenchman who claimed to be a pilot and landed himself a seat in the cockpit on board a U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia to West Palm Beach told investigators that his mother was a former pilot and he was using her identification.

Philippe Jeannard, 60, of La Rochelle, France, a city north of Bordeaux in western France, was arrested and now faces federal charges of using a means of identification of another person that is fraudulent and criminal trespass, according to a criminal complaint.

Investigators say Jeannard flew from Paris to Philadelphia on March 20 and was preparing to board U.S. Airways flight 1935 to West Palm Beach.

Jeannard was allegedly wearing a white button down shirt with an Air France logo on it. He was also wearing captain’s epaulets on his shoulder, resembling typical attire of an airplane pilot.

He approached the check-in counter and asked for an upgrade to first class. He became upset after he was told that there were no seats available.

Throughout the boarding process Jeannard continued to be “difficult” and a gate supervisor spoke with him, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in the eastern district of Pennsylvania.

He then told the employee that he worked for the airlines. One of the flight attendants noticed he had an Air France identification card and out of courtesy asked if he wanted to speak with the pilots.

Jeannard joined the pilot and co-pilot while they were performing their pre-flight duties. He told them that he was an Air France Boeing 747 pilot.

The trouble continued when general boarding began and one of the employees who had already encountered Jeannard saw him in the jump seat.

A gate agent had told Jeannard that if he was flying in the jump seat he’d need to fill out some paperwork and go through some verifications.

After hearing that Jeannard already had a confirmed seat assignment, the pilot told him he had to sit in that reserved seat.

While leaving the cockpit, Jeannard became verbally abusive to the gate agent and one of the flight attendants. He then was told he had to get off the plane.

An employee at the gate noticed he was wearing an Air France shirt and then saw him retrieve a sweater from his bag and put it over the shirt. The U.S. Airways Manager then asked if he was an Air France pilot and Jeannard responded that he wasn’t.

He was then taken to the police station in Philadelphia.

While there, investigators conducted a search on him and found an Air France identification with Jeannard’s name, photo, ID number and a description of a crew member on it. In his briefcase, investigators found Air France checklists and flight plans.

He told investigators that his mother was an Air France employee and that he was using his mother’s ID card. He falsified it by putting his name and photograph on it.

Jeannard already faces state charges of criminal trespass, tampering with records, false impersonating and false identification to law enforcement authorities.

On March 21, Air France corporate said that Jeannard is not a current nor a former employee.

More in Local News

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Most Read