METZ, France — Swiss pilot Heinz Peier landed his light aircraft so he could pay an urgent visit to the toilet, and ended up being fined about $38,000.
A French appeals court ordered the fine Friday after hearing Peier's story of how he was flying over the Voges Mountains three years ago, with two women friends, when he needed to go to the toilet.
His radio was not working, which meant his landing in Strasbourg was unannounced. Customs officials searched the plane and found diamonds, worth around $25,000, for which there were no European Community transit papers.
French customs lost its original case against Peiers, but appealed and gained a fresh trial.