A Thai air force pilot has been suspended from flying duties after allegedly landing his helicopter in the countryside to collect wild mushrooms for his mother, a spokesman said Friday.

The air force ordered the provisional suspension and began investigating after villagers in the western province of Kanchanaburi reported the incident to police, said spokesman Capt. Monthon Satchukorn.

Monthon said villagers said that a helicopter had circled a jungle clearing Wednesday before landing, and when some of them went to investigate, they found that the pilot had gone.

When the pilot eventually returned, he told them he had been collecting mushrooms for his mother.

"The pilot will face punishment for abandoning his helicopter without anyone to look after it and also for violating other rules," Monthon said.