By MEAD GRUVER Associated Press

A helicopter pilot faces up to $10,000 in fines and a year in jail for making an illegal landing in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.

The citations issued July 7 say Peter Smith landed June 23 on the western shore of Jackson Lake.

Park officials said Monday that rangers arrived by boat to find Smith and a female companion having a picnic.

Reached by phone, Smith tells The Associated Press there was no picnic — he hit bad weather while trying to cross the Teton Range and had to land.

Smith is charged with operating aircraft on lands/waters other than designated areas and failure to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Both are misdemeanors.

His initial appearance -- when he formally hears the charges -- is scheduled for Aug. 15 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Hambrick.

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