Initial evidence from the investigation into the fatal crash of an Air Algerie LockheedL-100-30 Hercules in northern Italy indicates the autopilot malfunctioned before the turboprop lost directional control.
The 25-year-old aircraft came down near Piacenza, between Milan and Parma, on 13 August while flying between Algiers and Frankfurt. Images from a security camera at a fuel station suggest the aircraft struck the ground at an angle of 45-50° and a speed of 460-485kt (850-900km/h).
Initial results from the inquiry by Italy's national security agency ANSV have revealed that, while the aircraft was in the cruise with the autopilot engaged, an "autopilot failure" indicator lit. Twelve seconds later the autopilot disengaged and, a few seconds afterwards, the aircraft lost longitudinal and directional control.