Debris found on the island of Réunion, located in the Indian Ocean, is believed to be from the missing flight MH370. Experts are 99 percent sure that the two-meter long wreckage is from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Beijing Capital International Airport, China. Metro spoke to Ronan Hubert, an accidentologist at the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives (B3A) – a Swiss organization that collates data on global air disasters – to understand whether this development will bring the aviation mystery to a close.
Q: What does the location of the debris tell us?
It is very interesting that we found such debris approximately 17 months after the accident. The waves and sea currents could explain that this was found so far from the supposed crash position in the south of the Indian Ocean. Now, this debris seems to be a flaperon [a type of aircraft control surface. – Ed.], a piece that we find on the rear part of a wing, above the flaps.
Q: Why is it believed to belong to Boeing 777?
It is believed but not confirmed. We should wait for the investigation, but I am confident. Investigations will be conducted to determine if this debris is really coming from the B777 of Malaysian Airlines (registered 9M-MRO). There’s to be an analysis of the structure and search for a possible serial number and so on.
Q: How will they know if it’s a part of this plane?
Hopefully we will find a serial number or any construction code on the debris.
Q: Do you believe it can solve the aviation mystery?
This would not resolve all pending issues. This will just give the investigation board some elements to continue in a certain way.
Q: What’s next?
If it is confirmed that this debris is coming from this aircraft, this would prove that it crashed into the sea and give the opportunity to all investigators involved that searches must continue to find other debris. Essentially, the investigation will continue.