Someone might have just taken a page out of Leonardo DiCaprio’s real-life con artist character, Frank Abagnale, from the Steven Spielberg movie “Catch Me If You Can”.
A young man, believed to be 18 to 20 years old, was caught impersonating a pilot – complete with a fake attire – while on board a Dragonair flight to Malaysia.
According to reports, the unnamed man donned a convincing pilot’s uniform, complete with badges, a white shirt with shoulder epaulettes, a black tie and black pants. His luggage tags and lanyard even featured Cathay Pacific logos, Drangonair’s parent company.
The individual claimed to have just flown into Hong Kong from San Francisco. He reportedly told the cabin crew on flight KA691 that he intended to thank the pilots personally once the Airbus A330 touched down in Penang and requested to be allowed into the cockpit after the 3-hour journey.
So what gave him away? After he ordered a glass of Bloody Mary, a cocktail which is not on the menu (a small detail that a pilot should have been informed about), the cabin crew suspected he was a fraud. The flight attendant gave him a glass of non-alcoholic Virgin Mary instead, and asked to see his pilot credentials.
When he couldn’t provide the documents, claiming he left it in his checked baggage, the flight attendants stepped up their alert and notified the ground crew and Malaysian immigration officers. Upon landing in Penang on 31st March, the impersonator admitted that he was not a real pilot.
He claimed that the Cathay Pacific uniform and paraphernalia were given to him by his stepfather, who happens to be a pilot of the airline. Reports also show that the suspect did have a history of impersonating pilots. According to Eji N Sight, there isn’t enough evidence at the moment to charged him for fraud or theft.