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Southeastern PA

Man impersonates pilot on US Airways flight at Phila. Int'l Airport

PHILADELPHIA - It was almost a modern day version of "Catch Me If You Can" at the Philadelphia International Airport.

A French national was apprehended after police said he tried to impersonate a pilot on a US Airways flight Wednesday night.

Phillippe Jernnard, of LaRocelle, France, boarded a plane bound for West Palm Beach, Fla., around 6:20 p.m. wearing what looked like an Air France pilot's uniform, police said.

Jernnard, 61, was a ticketed passenger, and police said he somehow managed to talk his way into the cockpit and settled into the jump seat behind the captain's chair.

When the real pilot entered the cockpit, Jernnard identified himself as a 747 pilot for Air France, police said.

When he couldn't produce credentials, he was asked to take his seat. Police were called, and by the time they arrived, Jernnard had taken off his uniform.

Police found the Air France decals and fake crew credentials in his bags; he was removed from the plane.

Jernnard was charged with criminal trespassing, breaking into a structure, forgery-alter writing, tampering with records or ID, false impression, and false identification to law enforcement. He was arraigned and is being held on $1 million bail.

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