Fake Air France pilot arrested in cockpit

A Frenchman wearing a uniform and claiming to be an Air France pilot was arrested on board a plane in the US city of Philadelphia after being found sitting in the cockpit, police say.

Identified as Philippe Jeannard of La Rochelle, France, the man was a ticketed passenger for the US Airways flight to West Palm Beach, Florida, according to a police statement that spelt his name two different ways.

Mr Jeannard, in his 60s, was found sitting in the jump-seat behind the captain's chair on board a US Airways flight and claimed to be a 747 pilot for Air France.

"When [Mr Jeannard] could not produce proper credentials, he was removed from the flight and the police were notified," the Philadelphia police said.

"When arrested, [he] was in possession of a counterfeit Air France crew member identification card," the statement read.

Mr Jeannard has been charged with criminal trespass, tampering with records, impersonating a privately employed person and presenting false identification to law enforcement.