msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 10/15/2010 4:59:29 PM ET 2010-10-15T20:59:29

Authorities say the man who tossed toilet paper from a small plane onto a New Jersey athletic field had no nefarious intent: He was making a test run for a streamer drop at an upcoming high school football game.

Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino told The Record of Woodland Park that Wednesday's fly-over stirred anxieties about low-flying aircraft.

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The pilot, Warren Saunders, 60, has been charged with violating a state law that prohibits aerial stunts over densely inhabited areas or public gatherings. He's been released on his own recognizance.

The maximum sentence is a year in prison and a $1,000 fine, Regino said, according to The Hackensack Record.

Regino says Saunders was practicing to drop streamers in school colors before Westwood High School's football game Saturday ahainst Mahwah High.

Story: That's just the way he rolls

Soccer players practicing at a nearby field noticed the circling plane dropping objects and raised the alarm, The Record reported.

Saunders could not be reached for comment. There is no published telephone listing for his Westwood address.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether to press charges for reckless operation of an aircraft and dropping objects from a plane, agency spokesman Jim Peters said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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