Lunch on terra firma apparently proved too tempting for a helicopter pilot and his passenger, police said.

The pilot was ticketed for an illegal landing Tuesday after he touched down on a grassy area on a busy commercial corridor in Midland, about 100 miles northwest of Detroit.

The man and the female passenger then crossed the road to eat lunch at Logan's Roadhouse, police said. Employees at the store next to the parked chopper called police.

Police said the pilot first claimed to have had permission to land there, then said the helicopter was having mechanical problems. Police then told him he would be required to hire a mechanic to ensure the helicopter was flight-ready.

"They changed their tune and admitted they were on their way to Traverse City and stopped for lunch," Midland Deputy Police Chief Robert Lane said. He wouldn't release the pilot's name.

The misdemeanor charge against the pilot, a 54-year-old man from Metamora Township, carries a fine of up to $500 and maximum 90 days in jail.

The landing site was about a quarter-mile from Midland's airport.