WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Philadelphia police arrested a French national Wednesday after they say he posed as an airline pilot and gained access to the cockpit on a US Airways flight headed for West Palm Beach, according to NBC News.
Philippe Jernnard, 61, is accused of impersonating a pilot while on the flight before it took off in Philadelphia International Airport.
NBC News reports Jernnard boarded the plane and told the flight crew he was a pilot with Air France.
"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 MyFoxPhilly.com .
According to FOXNews.com , police said Jernnard ended up in the cockpit jumpseat behind the captain but was later escorted off the plane when he failed to produce any pilot credentials.
Patricia Monacelli, a resident of Marly-le-Roi, France who was on the flight to South Florida, told WPTV NewsChannel 5 that something about Jernnard seemed off.
"I found myself in line -- at the end of the line -- going into the plane with this gentleman behind me who was quite vociferous," Monacelli said. "It dawned on me little by little that this gentleman that was behind me was upset. A bit of a character. Different. But I didn't see any malice in [him]."
Monacelli said Jernnard appeared to have been invited into the cockpit by a flight attendant because of his appearance.
"The stewardess said to him, "Would you like to say hello to the [people in the] cockpit?" He was responding to an offer that was made to him by the stewardess that was at the door."
Police arrested Jernnard on charges of trespassing, impersonating a public servant and lying to police, Sullivan said. He was being held Friday with bail set at $1 million.
A federal law enforcement official said investigators have not found any link to terrorism, but still are trying to determine what Jernnard was doing. The FBI is looking into the matter.