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Formal charge in alleged pilot impersonation in Philadelphia

Published On: Apr 24 2013 09:05:47 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 24 2013 12:55:43 PM EDT

A French man has been formally charged with fraudulently gaining access to the cockpit of a plane at Philadelphia International Airport by impersonating an employee of another airline.

Federal prosecutors say 61-year-old Philippe Jeannard of La Rochelle, France, was charged with one count of fraud in connection with an identification document.

Authorities said he was found in the cockpit of a Florida-bound US Airways flight on March 20 at the airport.


Officials said Jeannard, wearing a shirt with an Air France logo, sought a seat upgrade and later used a fraudulent Air France ID card belonging to an ex-employee to gain access to the plane's cockpit, where he was found sitting in the jump seat behind the pilot.

Jeannard's attorney didn't return a call seeking comment.

If convicted, Jeannard faces a maximum of five years in prison, three years of probation, a $250,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.