Buffalo Plane Crashed on Autopilot

Here's a scary new twist to the crash of a Continental commuter plane this week: The Bombardier turboprop was on autopilot when it went down, an indication the pilot violated federal safety recommendations for flying in icy weather. A National Transportation Safety Board official said the company operating the flight also recommends pilots fly manually in such weather conditions. "You may be able in a manual mode to sense something sooner than the autopilot can sense it," he said. The pilots of Continental Flight 3407 discussed "significant" ice builup on their wings and windshield just before they crashed into a house near the Buffalo airport Thursday, killing 49 in the plane and one person on the ground. Exactly when the pilot turned on the advanced deicing system is not yet clear.