A large part of one wing of doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been found, but it is in two sections and they are in different countries.
The discovery is providing new clues into aviation’s greatest mystery – the disappearance of MH370 with all aboard on 8 March 2014 while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
Australia’s Air Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has now confirmed that a big object found on the shore of the isle of Pemba off the Tanzanian coast earlier this year is part of the wing of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The section of wing, now in Australia, comes from the inboard section of the B777-200ER aircraft that operated flight MH370.
The other matching part is the flaperon, found last year on a beach in La Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. That part is still in the custody of France, which administers La Réunion. A French criminal investigation is still underway (Fench citizens were aboard MH370) and the flaperon is part of the evidence.
The ATSB has been examining the flap to see whether it can work out whether it was extended or retracted.
Investigators believe the flap was retracted, which would contradict any notion that the plane may have glided down for a smooth landing somewhere. If the flap was not deployed, it rules out any possibility of a controlled landing.
Evidence so far retrieved suggests it’s more likely that the plane hit the water at speed.
The new report on the debris says the ATSB confirmed a preliminary identification from part numbers on the flap. It was manufactured on 23 January 2002, which was consistent when the missing plane.
Written by Peter Needham