On A Wing and Some Air

Official: Part found is MH 370. But now, mystery grows…

Official: Part found is MH 370. But now, mystery grows…

Officials confirm: Part found is MH 370, but now the mystery surrounding the flight and the part found continues to grow.

There was some serious controversy two weeks ago when the investigation took a strange turn as the identification numbers for the aircraft part did not immediately match the maintenance logs from the Malaysian carrier.

flaperon-section-diagram

However, now in a statement issued by the official French investigator, the confirmation of the parts serial number was made by a technician at Airbus Defense and Space in Spain, which manufactures the part for Boeing (and was the part for the aircraft registered as 9M-MRO). It was operating flight MH370 when it went missing March 8, 2014, shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on a scheduled flight for Beijing, China.

The fateful flight had 239 passengers onboard yet, no emergency calls were made and data from the aircraft indicates it steered far from its planned route, apparently ending in the South Indian Ocean.

In July the aircraft part called a flaperon, which is a part of the inboard wing section, washed up on the French island of Reunion just about 400 miles from the West Coast of Madagascar and 100 miles West of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. The find was the first physical evidence from the missing flight. However, to date there has been no other debris found. The flaperon was taken to Toulouse, France for inspection by aircraft experts shortly after it’s discovery.

This is where the mystery picks up, again.

When the flaperon part was found, aviation experts declared that serial numbers on the flaperon would allow it to be definitively linked to the missing plane within 24 hours. When that deadline passed, news outlets told readers that the ID should be nailed down within a few days. Then by the following week.

What was holding things up? It turned out that the ID plate that should have been attached to the inboard edge of the flaperon was missing. And that was not the only problem. According to the New York Times, Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board found that the object did not match Malaysia Airlines’ maintenance records. But now… it does?

Media outlets however ran with it and reported that this was a part of the plane and the story faded away from public interest, until now. There was however a weird twist to the part that was discovered.  On August 21, the French news outlet La Dépêche ran a article citing sources within the investigation who indicated that the technical examination of the flaperon and the strangeness that accompanied it.

Among them was the fact that, when the aircraft suffered impact with the ocean, the flaperon would and should have made first contact with the water and therefore should have suffered severe damage from hitting the water at high speed. Yet, there is no real damage.

GooseBarnacles

What could be more strange?

The article also points out that the entirety of the flaperon is covered in goose barnacles. Why is this odd? Because they only grow within the first 5-10 meters of water and the flaperon was at the bottom of the Indian Ocean for months. Bottom line, either something is buoyant or it is not.  So, it would float on the surface, or be pushed along the bottom. While it might be somewhat easy to imagine a sub or a person with scuba gear hovering peacefully 10 or 20 feet under the surface of the water, this is not something that inanimate objects are capable of doing on their own. So, it begs the question, how did that happen?

This seems to only add to an incredible mystery of what took place to bring down MH 370 and what happened afterwards.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) chief commissioner Martin Dolan, has stated that the confirmation of the wreckage’s origin would not change Australia’s search plans for MH370, as they had already been working on the assumption that the flaperon was associated with MH370.

“All we [definitely] know is that the flaperon at some point became detached from the aircraft and there are a range of possible scenarios from that,” Dolan said.

Australia has led and coordinated the extensive international search effort for MH370.

 

 

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