Frenchman who faked flying sentenced to time served in bizarre cockpit stunt

Philippe Jeannard

A Frenchman with a flair for the dramatic — and pretending to be a commercial pilot — was sentenced Tuesday to time served for his bizarre stunt inside the cockpit of a U.S. Airways plane at Philadelphia International Airport three months ago.

Philippe Jeannard, 61, of La Rochelle, France, was arrested March 20 and pleaded guilty in early May to one count of fraud. No one was injured or endangered in the incident, which raised questions about the ease with which Jeannard made his way to an airplane cockpit on the airport runway donning a fake pilot's outfit.

He was arrested after boarding the plane using a fraudulent identification card of a former Air France employee.

At the May 8 plea hearing, the foreign national didn't say why he pulled the stunt, but details did emerge about Jeannard: he's single, retired from a job in advertising, travels between France and a rental in at a hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., and — not surprisingly — loves wine.

Upon his release from the federal penitentiary in Philadelphia, where he's been held since his arrest, he "will be removed and will not be permitted back into the United States without written permission from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court Judge Gene E.K. Pratter also ordered Jeannard to pay $4,875 in reimbursement for counsel’s fees that she found he had the ability to pay. He was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.

Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.

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