Frenchman 'posing as pilot' found in US jet cockpit

Philippe Jernnard undated picture Philippe Jernnard could face futher charges

A Frenchman has been charged with impersonating a pilot after he was found in the cockpit of a plane due to take off in Philadelphia, police say.

Philippe Jernnard, from La Rochelle, France, was wearing a shirt with an Air France logo and a blazer with epaulets.

He was discovered in the jump seat behind the pilot on a US Airways plane on Wednesday evening, an officer said.

The FBI is investigating the incident and police said they expect federal charges may be filed.

Mr Jernnard, 61, faces state charges including criminal trespassing, tampering with records, impersonating a person privately employed, and providing false identification to law enforcement, Philadelphia police told the BBC.

When he was found in the cockpit, Mr Jernnard identified himself as a 747 pilot for Air France, authorities said.

The suspect, who had a ticket for the US Airways flight to Florida, could not provide proof of his credentials.

He was also reportedly carrying a fake Air France crew identification card.

Officer Christine O'Brien says Mr Jernnard became argumentative and was escorted from the plane.

He is being held on $1m bail (£657,000), US media report.

Jernnard's alleged stunt echoes that of conman Frank Abagnale, whose exploits posing as an airline pilot were turned into the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can.

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