Fake Italian pilot traveled in cockpit, police say


Mod's - Please don't edit my posts!
ROME (Reuters) – A man who posed as an airline pilot and traveled in the cockpit of at least one plane was arrested in Turin Airport using forged identity cards and wearing a pilot’s uniform, Italian police said on Saturday.

Story Here: http://kathrynaviationnews.com/?p=87208


Well-Known Member
'Fake pilot who joined cabin crew in cockpit' is arrested in plot mirroring Spielberg's hit film Catch Me If You Can

By Nick Pisa

PUBLISHED: 06:56 EST, 23 September 2012 | UPDATED: 07:08 EST, 23 September 2012

A man who posed as a pilot and joined cabin crew in a plane cockpit has been arrested, Italian police said today.

The unemployed 32-year-old man, whose real identity was not released, created a fake profile for himself on Facebook and called himself Andrea Sirlo, even posting pictures of himself wearing a uniform and Aviator sunglasses.

To complete the illusion he made up fake identity cards and even sent himself imaginary comments from dozens of fake cabin crew friends who expressed their 'delight' at being rostered with him on flights.

The unemployed 32-year-old man posed as a pilot and joined cabin crew in a plane cockpit. He has been arrested by Italian police
Police held the man in the bar at Turin's Caselle airport and revealed details of the elaborate scam at a press conference - as they compared it to the hit Leonardo Di Caprio film Catch Me If You Can in which he posed as a fake pilot and con man who flew more than one million miles around the world in the 1960s.

Officers said they believed he had flown in the cockpit of at least one flight between Munich and Turin in October last year and a link on his Facebook page highlighted the trip on a low budget airline called Air Dolomiti but did not take command of the plane.

They had been tipped off about him by an Italian Civil Aviation Authority who had become suspicious at how he could claim to be a captain when he appeared to be so young.

After he was arrested he took police to the garage of his home in Turin where he showed them the fake uniforms including white shirts and gold epaulets plus bogus identity cards, two books on flight theory and a plane log book.

Police compared the scam to the hit 2002 Leonardo Di Caprio film Catch Me If You Can in which he posed as a fake pilot and con man who flew round the world
Other pictures on his Facebook page showed him posing on an airport tarmac with planes behind him and in another he was seen inside the cockpit of a plane although it was not clear when and where it had been taken.

The site has now been closed by police but a person using the same identity and pictures also had a Twitter account in which he described himself as first officer for Lufthansa City Line.

Police said they believed he had taken another flight in April of this year as well but added they were still investigating the background of the man who they said was known to them and had previous convictions for fraud.

A spokesman for Turin police said: 'We are investigating several breaches of airport security and the man has been questioned about his motive but has not really provided a clear explanation of why he pretended to be a pilot.'

Turin airport said they were also investigating the case but they had not issued any identities in the name of Andrea Sirlo - the surname is the name of an air corridor over Turin.



Well-Known Member
XcalibeR said:
They Caught Him 'cause They Could
I wonder if Mr Abagnale still travels from time to time. They said the company allowed him to disappear some weekends to just do what he wanted to do.


Well-Known Member
Article says he claimed to be a LH CityLine pilot, but their ID looks like nothing like what he has on his neck:


Boris Badenov

It's a work in progress, but, ah, symbols endure
So he's supposed to be an Italian AND an airline pilot, but he doesn't have a moustache? This doesn't add up, he'd have been detected before he got to the jet bridge. Where's Quatch with the Real Story?


Well-Known Member
I had to check :) pic is a Lufthansa pilot.

Those epaulettes belong to a senior first officer :) the "inner" stripe on each side is broader than the other two stripes. "Normal" first officers wear the standard three stripes.
The guy got on the aircraft with a standard passenger ticket. Guess the captain didn't check his license to make sure, that he's a "real" pilot. Or he had a faked one, don't know.
The aircraft belonged to AirDolomiti, which is a fully owned (Italian) subsidiary of Lufthansa and belongs to Lufthansa Regional (LH's regional branch). It wasn't a CityLine Aircraft.


Well-Known Member
Definitely no CASS type system in Europe. It is not uncommon for wannabee student pilots to ask to ride in the jumpseat (after paying for a ticket) and riding up front. Each country has slightly different rules (UK has very strict rules on jumpseats) and each airline has their own policies.

A friend of mine paid for a ticket but missed his flight. He was wearing the monkey suit because he came straight from some flying lessons (student pilot at the time) and the ticket agent assumed he was flight crew and put him in the jumpseat. She didn't even ask him about his paid ticket.