By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
HONOLULU (AP) — A pilot who was fired from Cathay Pacific Airlines won’t go to jail for wearing his former employer’s uniform and badge to bypass security at Honolulu International Airport.
Joshu Osmanski was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Honolulu to three years’ probation. He pleaded guilty last year to unlawfully entering the secure area of an airport.
Osmanski has said he wore the uniform and badge months after he was terminated so that he could “cut the line” and not have to take off his shoes during security screening. He said he was traveling to a new job with another company.
He apologized in court at his sentencing, saying he can’t explain what he did and that his actions embarrassed his family, including his children.
“I made a mistake and I don’t know why,” he said. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Hino played surveillance video in court showing Osmanski in a pilot’s uniform trying to go into a security line for flight crew. A screener directed him to another line because that line was only for crewmembers of domestic airlines, Hino said.
The silent video later shows Osmanski standing in another line, speaking with Transportation Security Administration officers, and showing them a badge hanging from his neck on a lanyard. He’s seen wearing his shoes as he walks through security, while other passengers go through full-body scans, and fiddle with belts and shoes.
What Osmanski did was more egregious because he’s a licensed commercial pilot, Hino said, but prosecutors didn’t seek jail time.
Defense attorney Birney Bervar, who asked for a sentence of one year on probation, said Osmanski’s “bizarre” actions could be attributed to a possible head injury from ejecting from a plane in 2011 when he was a Navy fighter pilot.
Osmanski is now a full-time student at Tulane University in New Orleans who wants to go to dentistry school, Bervar said.
“I lost my career,” Osmanski said. “I may never fly again.”
U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor noted that he wore his uniform to bypass security more than once after being fired from Cathay Pacific. She also noted that Osmanski is gifted and intelligent, but his actions raise questions about his judgment. She said it’s rare to only get probation and no jail time.