Low altitude flying may have caused Swedish crash

AP News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2012 8:19 AM
Low altitude flying may have caused Swedish crash

The officer in charge of the Norwegian military's cargo planes says a deadly crash that killed five might have been caused by the pilots' decision to fly manually instead of on autopilot.

Lieutenant Colonel Trond Solna was quoted Sunday in the Norwegian paper Aftenposten as saying that pilots of the C-130 cargo plane might have chosen to fly manually _ or at low altitude along the mountainous landscape.

Five Norwegian aviation officers died when the plane crashed Thursday into Mount Kebnekaise in northern Sweden during an international military exercise.

Solna says the pilots had planned to fly manually _ referred to as tactical flying _ if weather conditions were favorable.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but bad weather was reported in the area at the time. A search operation for debris and remains continued Sunday.