Thanks To “Bloody Mary”, A Fake Pilot Caught On Dragonair Flying To Malaysia

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May 03 2016
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Frank William Abagnale, Jr. became one of the most famous impostors ever, after he impersonated no fewer than eight identities, including a physician, a lawyer and an airline pilot. Frank who? Try Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank in the film “Catch Me If You Can” and you’ll understand why the 14-year-old movie could still inspire impersonators until today.

Catch Me If You Can - Film

Mr Frank had actually impersonated as a Pan American World Airways pilot because he wanted to fly throughout the world for free. And he did that undetected between the ages of 16 and 18, flew more than 1-million miles on more than 250 flights to 26 countries. As Pan Am pilot, he was also able to stay at hotels for free while everything from food to lodging was billed to the airline company.


Perhaps inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio’s film, a man did exactly the same. Wearing a “pilot” outfit – a white shirt with shoulder epaulettes, black trousers and a black necktie – the man, between 18- 20 years old, approached boarding gate and was allowed on board a Dragonair flight KA691 to Penang, Malaysia, on 31 March, 2016.

Dragonair Plane Flight

His luggage tags and lanyard carried logos of Cathay Pacific, Dragonair’s parent company. But unlike Frank William Abagnale who was invited by actual pilots to take the controls of the plane in-flight, this man didn’t actually try and fly the Dragonair plane but sat down as a passenger instead.


Apparently, he informed staff he had just finished manning a flight from San Francisco and asked to speak to the pilot after the plane touched down in Penang. However, flight attendants became suspicious when he ordered “Bloody Mary” cocktail, which was not available on the menu.

Bloody Mary Cocktail

Flight attendants raised their alert when the man failed to provide a staff number when he was asked to do so. Perhaps he should do more homework and watch the film “Catch Me If You Can” again. The flight attendants has also taken steps to ensure the man didn’t go near the cockpit, fearing he could do something fatal to the flight.


The man was taken away by security staff upon landing in Penang, while a search was conducted on the aircraft overnight for explosive or anything that could jeorpardizing the safety of the plane. It is understood that he has had previous records of impersonating a pilot but Dragonair would not provide details as the investigation is still ongoing by the police.

Leonardo Di-Caprio - Catch Me If You Can - Impersonating Pilot With Crew - 2

For now, it’s unknown if the man was charged by Malaysian authorities. Still, the question remains as to why the incident is only exposed now, more than a month after it had taken place. The security breach was disclosed by Rebecca Sy, chairperson of the carrier’s flight attendants association, as reported by South China Morning Post.


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