Kona Man Indicted for Prank Call to FBI About Danger Onboard Alaska Airlines Flight

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Prince Kuhio Federal Building
Prince Kuhio Federal Building (Photo: Emily Metcalf)

When the FBI in Honolulu received a call Thursday, January 17, 2013, that an Alaska Airlines commercial flight from Kona to Seattle had a hijacker on board, the Oregon Air National Guard dispatched two F-15 fighter jets to escort the plane to Sea-Tec Airport.

After questioning a passenger on board, the FBI determined there was no threat.


On Wednesday, a Honolulu Federal Grand Jury indicted Timothy David Hershman, 58, of Kona on one count of “False Information and Hoaxes,” a crime that could land him in prison for up to five years.

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon confirmed the indictment is tied to the January 17 call, and said an arrest warrant was not issued, but the U.S. District Court of Hawaii will issue a summons for the defendant to appear in Honolulu federal court.