A French man was charged with criminal trespassing after attempting to con his way into a U.S. Airways cockpit wearing an Air France pilot's uniform.
61-year-old Philippe Jernnard LaRocelle was arrested Thursday night for attempting to impersonate a pilot. LaRocelle allegedly charmed his way into a front row seat and then attempted to use his outfit to gain access to the flight deck on a U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia to Palm Beach, Fla.
LaRocelle appears to have taken a page from Frank Abagnale's foray as a Pan-Am pilot, depicted in the Leonardo DiCaprio flick Catch Me If You Can. LaRocelle; however, he failed to show adequate evidence that he worked for Air France and was asked to leave the zone.
Police were called, but by the time they arrived LaRocelle had taken off the uniform. They found a fake crew badge and Air France decals inside his bags. He was then escorted from the aircraft and transported to Southwest Detectives.
In addition to criminal trespassing, he was charged with breaking into a structure, forgery, tampering with records, false impression and false identification to law enforcement.
He was arraigned and is being held on $1 million bail. Forced to surrender his passport, he is due in court April 5 for his prelimary hearing.