Astounding, but not unexpected, that two news outlets have two widely divergent views of the NTSB press conference:Crash Pilot 'Broke Airline Rules'
8:04pm UK, Sunday February 15, 2009 - SKYNEWS
A plane that crashed into a house killing 50 people was in autopilot when it went down - violating airline policy, an aviation official has said.
Pilots are recommended to fly planes manually in icy conditions and required to do so in severe ice, said US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator Steven Chealander.
The pilot of the doomed plane reported "significant" ice on his wings and windshield just before the crash-landing outside the northern US city of Buffalo.http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Buffalo-Plane-Crash-Aircraft-In-Autopilot-When-Landing-Violating-Airline-Policy-Rules/Article/200902315223240?lpos=World_News_Carousel_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15223240_Buffalo_Plane_Crash:_AircrCrash plane 'dropped in seconds'
updated at 00:28 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009 - BBC.CO.UK
Air safety official Steve Chealander said the plane fell from 1,800ft to 1,000ft shortly before impact.
He also said investigators had not found that there were "severe icing" conditions, which would have required pilots to fly the plane manually.
The plane's autopilot was on until just before the crash, Mr Chealander said.
But in a press briefing on Sunday he said there was no evidence that the Continental Airlines pilot had done anything wrong.
"The only restriction that they see - the manufacturer of this airplane - and that they write about is that disengage the autopilot in severe icing conditions," Mr Chealander said.
"Thus far we haven't determined that it's severe icing so, so far we see that everything seemed to be normal in using the autopilot."http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7891770.stm
The lesson here is that it is fairly easy to libel a dead pilot without the worry of any repercussions.