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Man impersonating pilot reached plane's cockpit at Philly airport, police say

Philadelphia police have arrested a French national after he allegedly posed as an airline pilot and gained access to the cockpit on a US Airways flight Wednesday.

MyFoxPhilly.com reports that 61-year-old Philippe Jernnard is accused of impersonating a pilot while boarding the Florida-bound flight at Philadelphia International Airport.

After being a denied a seat in business class Jernnard allegedly boarded the plane and told the flight crew he was a pilot with Air France, according to the report.

"He had an Air France shirt. He had an Air France bag. He had some identification that looked like he was a crew member from Air France," Philadelphia police Capt. Michael Murphy told the station.

"Air France denies that one of its employees attempted to board a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Charlotte (USA) on March 20, 2013," an Air France spokeswoman told Fox News in a statement. 

"The person who boarded this flight does not work for Air France," the statement said. 

Jernnard reportedly ended up in the cockpit jumpseat behind the captain but was escorted off the plane after when he failed to produce proper credentials, police told the station.

"This person was not wearing an Air France uniform badge (Crew Member Certificate) or carrying an Air France crew baggage. Regarding the badge, it was a very poor fake badge, which in no way resembled the Air France Crew Member Certificate (CMC)," the Air France statement said. 

No passengers were in danger and the flight took off on time, according the the report. The FBI has launched an investigation into the incident.

Jernnard is charged with criminal trespass, forgery-alter writing, tampering with records, false impression and providing false identification to law enforcement, the report states. He is being held with bail set at $1 million.

A US Airways spokesperson directed questions from MyFoxPhilly.com to the FBI, which is now leading the investigation.

Click here for more from MyFoxPhilly.com.
 

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