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Has MH370 finally been found? Air safety investigators have 'high degree of confidence' that debris found in Indian Ocean 3,500 miles from doomed flight's last known location belongs to a Boeing 777

Posted by George Freund on July 30, 2015 at 8:45 AM

  • Debris was found on island of La Reunion, east of Madagascar, some 3,500 miles from last known location of MH370
  • Experts have a 'high degree of confidence' that wreckage belongs to Boeing 777 - the same model as the doomed jet
  • Witnesses said the object appears to have been in the ocean for some time as it was 'covered in shells'
  • Boeing has only lost five 777s since the aircraft was introduced 1995 with four of the crash sites clearly identified 
Air crash investigators have 'a high degree of confidence' that a piece of wreckage found on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion is from a Boeing 777 - the same model as the doomed MH370 which disappeared in March 2014.

Since the Boeing 777 was introduced in 1994, there have been five incidents - including MH370 -  which have led to the destruction of the aircraft. MH370 is the only aircraft of its type which has vanished over the sea. 

Investigators will need to examine closely the wreckage to link it to MH370, but it was the only aircraft of its type lost over water.

Officials are examining debris found washed up on Reunion island east of Madagascar to determine if it is related to the missing MH370
Officials are examining debris found washed up on Reunion island east of Madagascar to determine if it is related to the missing MH370

The debris appears to be part of a wing and was taken onto the island of La Reunion, where it will be thoroughly inspected 
The debris appears to be part of a wing and was taken onto the island of La Reunion, where it will be thoroughly inspected 

Air crash investigators confirmed that they have a 'high degree of certainty' that the component is from a Boeing 777 - similar to MH370
Air crash investigators confirmed that they have a 'high degree of certainty' that the component is from a Boeing 777 - similar to MH370

Circled is the part of the Malaysian Airlines plane that officials believe has washed up on the Reunion Island, east of Madagascar
Circled is the part of the Malaysian Airlines plane that officials believe has washed up on the Reunion Island, east of Madagascar

The two-metre-long section of wreckage was discovered on the island of La Reunion, east of Madagascar, more than 3,800 miles away from where the aircraft was last seen, north of Kuala Lumpur and some 3,000 miles from the search area west of Australia 


Air safety investigators have identified the six-foot long piece of debris as a 'flaperon' from the edge of a 777 wing, a US official has said.

The Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Martin Dolan said his organisation was liaising with Boeing over the piece of wreckage. He said: 'We know about it and we are trying to work with our French colleagues to try and figure out if this is from MH370. It could take some time. 
'It could take today or longer than that for us to ascertain that.'

A Boeing source told NBC that they believe the piece of wreckage is from a Boeing 777.

At the United Nations, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said that he has sent a team to verify the identity of the plane wreckage.

He said: 'Whatever wreckage found needs to be further verified before we can ever confirm that it is belonged to MH370.'

ONLY FIVE SERIOUS ACCIDENTS INVOLVING THE BOEING 777 

Since the Boeing 777 was introduced in 1995, only five of the aircraft hulls have been destroyed in accidents. 

The first hull loss happened on January 17, 2008 when a British Airways jet landed 1,000 feet short of the runway at Heathrow. 

In July 2011, an Egypt Air 777 caught fire at Cairo International and was destroyed. 

The third was in July 2013 when a 777 operated by Asiana Airways crashed at San Francisco International, killing three people. 

The fourth 777 loss was MH370. 

The fifth was MH17 which was shot down on the Russian/Ukrainian border in July 2014.

If the debris turns out to be from Malaysia Airlines flight 370, it will be the first major break in the effort to discover what happened to the plane after it vanished on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board while traveling from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing.

The component was discovered by people cleaning up a beach in La Reunion, east of Madagascar - more than 3,800 miles away from the last known location of MH370. It is also more than 3,000 miles from where the main underwater search for wreckage is taking place, off the coast of Australia.

One witness said: 'It was covered in shells, so one would say it had been in the water a long time.' 

French air transport officials have already opened a probe to investigate where the wreckage could have come from.

The two-metre-long section was found more than 3,800 miles away from where the missing Boeing 777 was last seen.  It is also more than 3,000 miles from where the main underwater search for wreckage is taking place, off the coast of Australia.  

France TV said the object was recovered by a group of workers cleaning a beach on La Reunion, who reported the discovery to authorities who alerted air crash investigators.

Xavier Tytelman, an expert in aviation security, said it could not be ruled out that the wreckage belonged to MH370, which vanished without trace in March last year.

No part of the wreckage has ever been found in one of aviation's great mysteries and Malaysian authorities in January declared that all on board were presumed dead.

The plane disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

Tytelman noted that local media photos showed 'incredible similarities between a #B777 flaperon and the debris found,' refering to a Boeing 777 - the type of plane that disappeared.

He also noted a reference on the wreckage: BB670.

He added: 'This code is not a plane's registration number, nor serial number. However... it's clear that this reference would allow a quick identification. In a few days, we will have a definitive answer.'

Eric Chesneau, a French air transport police officer urged caution following yesterday's discovery.

He said: 'People are getting ahead of themselves over this. It is more than likely plane debris, (but) we don't know what exact part it may be.'

No trace has been found of the Boeing 777, which disappeared in March last year carrying 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. Most of the passengers were Chinese.

Search efforts led by Australia have focused on a broad expanse of the southern Indian Ocean.

Airline expert Xavier Tytelman said the wreckage looked like it came from a Boeing 777, the same model as the missing MH370
Airline expert Xavier Tytelman said the wreckage looked like it came from a Boeing 777, the same model as the missing MH370

A comprehensive report earlier this year into the plane's disappearance revealed that the battery of the locator beacon for the plane's flight data recorder had expired more than a year before the jet vanished. However, the report said the battery in the locator beacon of the cockpit voice recorder was working.

Investigators hope that if they can locate the two recorders they can get to the bottom of what has become one of aviation's biggest mysteries. The unsuccessful search for Flight 370 has raised concern worldwide about whether airliners should be required to transmit their locations continually via satellite, especially when flying long distances over the ocean.

Apart from the anomaly of the expired battery, the detailed report devoted page after page to describing a flight that started off completely normal.

WRECKAGE FIND WON'T ALTER UNDERWATER SEARCH AREA PLAN

The man in charge of finding MH370 said today's discovery of a part of a Boeing 777 in La Reunion will not alter his search plans.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan, who heads the seabed search, said that if the find proved to be part of the missing aircraft, it would be consistent with the theory that the plane missing crashed within the 120,000 square kilometer (46,000 square mile) search area 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) southwest of Australia.

'It doesn't rule out our current search area if this were associated with MH370. It is entirely possible that something could have drifted from our current search area to that island.'

Dolan said search resources would be better spent continuing the seabed search with sonar and video for wreckage rather than reviving a surface search for debris if the find proved to be from Flight 370.

He added: 'Confirmation that the wing part was the first trace of Flight 370 ever found would finally disprove theories that the airliner might have disappeared in the northern hemisphere.'

The 584-page report by a 19-member independent investigation group went into minute details about the crew's lives, including their medical and financial records and training. It also detailed the aircraft's service record, as well as the weather, communications systems and other aspects of the flight. Nothing unusual was revealed. 

Neither the French civil aviation authority DGAC nor the BEA, the agency responsible for investigating aviation accidents, were immediately available for comment.

Reports among the aircraft community suggested that the MH17's manufacturer, Boeing, is sending experts to La Reunion to help identify the piece of wreckage. 

However, the company said if could not confirm whether engineers were en-route, but added that it remained 'committed to supporting the MH370 investigation and the search for the airplane'.

The airline manufacturer said: 'We continue to share our technical expertise and analysis. Our goal, along with the entire global aviation industry, continues to be not only to find the airplane, but also to determine what happened - and why.' 

The debris appears to be part of a wing and was taken onto the island, a French department, this morning, according to Adjutant Christian Retournat.

'It is way too soon to say whether or not it is MH370. We just found the debris this morning in the coast of Saint Andre,' Retournat told CNN Wednesday.

The flat, white hunk of metal is almost certainly a part of an airplane wing. More specifically, Metro reports it is that of a Boeing 777, the same model plane as MH370, which went down after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 8, 2014 en route to Beijing with 239 aboard. 

An Australian-led operation has scoured more than 19,000 square miles of the seafloor, about 60 per cent of a search zone in the Indian Ocean that was determined via expert analysis of signals from MH370 that were detected by a satellite.

However the four search vessels towing 10-kilometre cables fitted with sophisticated sonar systems that scan the seabed have turned up little except shipping containers and a previously uncharted shipwreck.

Rough weather, the pitch-black extreme depths of up to 4,000 metres, and the rugged nature of the previously unmapped seafloor have made for a slow, frustrating search.

Angry next of kin have criticised Malaysia's handling of the plane's disappearance, and have questioned the choice to focus the search on the southern Indian Ocean.

Environmental scientists believe that the supposed crash site west of Australia could see the debris carried west towards La Reunion
Environmental scientists believe that the supposed crash site west of Australia could see the debris carried west towards La Reunion

The object appears very similar to part of the flap mechanism from a large passenger jet such as the missing MH370 Boeing 777
The object appears very similar to part of the flap mechanism from a large passenger jet such as the missing MH370 Boeing 777

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Categories: New World Order