MH370: what the latest discovery tells us about the search for the missing airliner

MH370: what the latest discovery tells us about the search for the missing airliner
Date July 30, 2015 – 10:13PM

MH370: The story so far

MH370: Debris likely to be from lost airliner

Questions surround the discovery of a piece of aircraft on Reunion Island, now widely believed to have come from the missing Malaysian airliner MH370. Here’s what we know so far:

1. What washed up?

Aviation experts have confirmed it is a piece of wing called a “flaperon”. US aviation officials have concluded with a “high degree of confidence” the part is unique to MH370’s type of airliner, a Boeing 777. Investigators have also said that no other Boeing 777 is known to be missing that part.

2. How big is the part?

A French official said that the object was about 9 feet (2.7 metres) long and 3 feet (one metre) wide, and that it appeared to have been in the water for a very long time. You can see the scale in these photos:

3. Where does that come from on a plane?

It’s a control surface from a wing: a moving part that combines aspects of a wing spoiler and a regular flap.
4. How has Malaysia reacted?

The Malaysian transport minister said a team had been dispatched to Reunion and stressed to CNN that the discovery was in its early days: “We need to verify. We have wreckage found that needs to be further verified before we can further confirm if it belongs to MH370 … we hope that we can identify it as soon as possible.” Malaysia Airlines tweeted:

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