Fake Pilot Suspect Was Booked On Next Flight When Arrested - New York News

Fake Pilot Suspect Was Booked On Next Flight, 2 Terminals Away When Arrested

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PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -

While 61-year-old French national Philippe Jernnard sits in jail facing serious charges for impersonating a pilot, questions continue to surface on just how he got into the cockpit of a us airways jetliner Wednesday night that was about to take off.

Federal charges had yet to be filed late Friday afternoon.

But FOX 29 News has confirmed from Philadelphia police that there was an apparent 10- to 20-minute delay in the arrest of this suspect and that, in fact, he had been thrown off that plane, rebooked on another flight and was in another terminal, Terminal A, when he was finally arrested.

"We need to make sure there are no holes or cracks in the armor at this point,"says former federal prosecutor and licensed commercial pilot Fred Tecce.

Tecce, a 30-year veteran pilot, says the fact that Jernnard donned an Air France shirt, a pilot's  jacket with four gold epaulets and had phony Air France ID, then sat down in the jump seat behind the captain, should sound some alarms for the airlines.

"This is an opportunity for all airlines to take a careful look at their policies, practices and procedures," he told FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser.

Police and the FBI are still trying to determine why Jernnard tried to pull this off.

"Anything from just wanting to take a look at the cockpit to some other criminal designs," said Capt. Michael Murphy, head of airport security for the Philadelphia Police.

Tecce says the first red flag should have gone up at the boarding gate when an angry Jernnard told the gate attendant he "hated Americans."

"I would have called the police right at that point if for no other reason but to find out what the guy was all about," Tecce added.

But Tecce also praised the gate agent and copilot who peppered Jernnard with questions when he sat down in the cockpit moments before takeoff.

"Fortunately, the copilot was paying attention and started looking at this guy more closely," Tecce said.

As the FBI continues to investigate, Tecce says there's a lesson to be learned here.

"Guess what, our enemies are watching this too, we're watching this, our enemies are watching this," he said.

The FBI was still investigating late this afternoon. Jernnard is held on city charges, including criminal trespass. His bail is set at $1 million. He was ordered to turn over his passport.

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