Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano Spews Ash, U.S. Airlines Cancel Flights

Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano Ash

Lava flows from the Popocatepetl volcano after an eruption, seen from Tlamacas, Mexico, early Wednesday, May 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Arturo Andrade)


MEXICO CITY — At least six U.S. airlines canceled 47 flights into and out of the Mexico City and Toluca airports Thursday after the Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash, steam and glowing rocks, airport officials said.

Mexico City airport spokesman Jorge Gomez said U.S. Airways, Delta, United, American and Alaska Airlines canceled the flights as a precaution. But he said the airport otherwise continues to operate normally and that by Thursday afternoon no ash had reached the area, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest from the volcano.

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Man impersonating pilot reached plane’s cockpit at Philly airport, police say


Oct. 29, 2010: A US Airways flight is seen landing at Philadelphia International Airport. (AP)

Published March 22, 2013

Philadelphia police have arrested a French national after he allegedly posed as an airline pilot and gained access to the cockpit on a US Airways flight Wednesday. reports that 61-year-old Philippe Jernnard is accused of impersonating a pilot while boarding the Florida-bound flight at Philadelphia International Airport.

After being a denied a seat in business class Jernnard allegedly boarded the plane and told the flight crew he was a pilot with Air France, according to the report.

“He had an Air France shirt. He had an Air France bag. He had some identification that looked like he was a crew member from Air France,” Philadelphia police Capt. Michael Murphy told the station.

Jernnard reportedly ended up in the cockpit jumpseat behind the captain but was escorted off the plane after when he failed to produce proper credentials, police told the station.

No passengers were in danger and the flight took off on time, according the the report. The FBI has launched an investigation into the incident.

Jernnard is charged with criminal trespass, forgery-alter writing, tampering with records, false impression and providing false identification to law enforcement, the report states. He is being held with bail set at $1 million.

A US Airways spokesperson directed questions from to the FBI, which is now leading the investigation.