Apparently I don't understand how autopilot works (never really thought I did anyways). Obviously it's not like autosteer where as soon as you move the wheel it cuts out as the article states that the pilot CAN cut back the power while still on autopilot. I guess autopilot only plots the path and steers the plane but does not "fly the plane". Perhaps it is like autosteer where you can play with the power all you like without it kicking out. Hmmmm. It's always sad when these things happen regardless of who the victims were.