Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Investigations

Date

Frenchman Pleads Guilty for Impersonation of an Air France Pilot

On May 8, 2013, Jean Philippe Jeannard pleaded guilty to identity fraud in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in connection with his use of a false Air France identification badge and pilot's uniform to board a USAir aircraft and enter the cockpit during the pre-flight checks.  

Upon arrival at PHL in a pilot's uniform, Jeannard requested an upgrade to first class on US Airways Flight 1935 destined to West Palm Beach, but was denied because no seats were available. Upon entering the aircraft during passenger boarding, Jeannard made his way into the cockpit to introduce himself to the pilots under the guise of being a pilot for Air France. While in the cockpit, Jeannard identified himself as an Air France Boeing 747 pilot. 

While conducting pre-flight checks, the gate attendant who denied him a first class upgrade noticed Jeannard occupying the jump seat within the cockpit. The Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) regulate who may enter the cockpit of a commercial aircraft and Jeannard failed to meet those requirements. However, he had gained access using a badge he had created by affixing a once legitimate Air France identification number and his picture on an Air France identification badge. The flight attendant advised him that if he intended to occupy the jump seat during the flight, he would have to return to the ticket counter and complete security paperwork. At that point, the pilot instructed Jeannard to take his ticketed seat in coach. Upon making his way to his ticketed seat, Jeannard became disruptive and verbally abusive to the flight attendant and gate attendant and was ultimately escorted off the aircraft.