Monday, 3 August 2015
Whether the flapron found at La Reunion Island belong to MH370?
An aircraft wing section washed up on the French island of Réunion in the Indian ocean is very likely to be wreckage from a Boeing 777, and probably said, adding it was it was from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The flaperon – a two metre-long movable part on the trailing edge of the wing was shipped to Toulouse in France for verification by the BEA, the French authority responsible for civil aviation accident investigations. A separate team of investigators from Malaysia was on its way to the island.
A mechanic from the Réunion-based airline Air Austral had studied the debris with French military officials and concluded with 99.9% certainty that it originated from a Boeing 777. The debris was stamped with the serial number 657-BB. The local newspaper, Le Journal de l’île de La Réunion, published a picture that it said was the inside of the debris, showing the number. Aviation website AirLive.net reported that “657-BB” matches the serial number in Boeing’s maintenance manual for a section of a 777 flaperon.
The identifying number found on the flaperon should, in theory, allow investigators to quickly confirm whether the part did originate from a 777. The number is normally stamped on a small metal plate attached to a large aeroplane part. It should register not only the generic part number, but an individual serial number allowing the history of that particular part to be traced. That should tally with the records held by the manufacturer and the airline. Individual parts could have been swapped since the plane’s original construction, and are labelled to allow aircraft engineers to track if and when they need maintenance or replacement.
That simple record check means investigators, Malaysia Airlines and Boeing should already be confident whether the numbered part could have come from flight MH370 – as long as they have been provided with a full and accurate serial number.