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Airplane that crashed near Buffalo was on autopilot

The pilot the airplane that crashed near Buffalo, N.Y. on Thursday may have ignored federal safety recommendations and violated the airline's own policy by putting the airplane on autopilot.

According to the Associated Press, federal guidelines suggest pilots flying in icy weather should not use autopilot while the company that charted Continental Flight 3407 requires pilots to turn off the feature in such conditions.

“You may be able in a manual mode to sense something sooner than the autopilot can sense it," Steve Chealander of the National Transportation Safety Board said in an Associated Press interview.

All 47 passengers aboard the flight were killed as was one civilian on the ground when the airplane crashed into a house near Buffalo.