Independent experts give their opinions on new ‘possible MH370 debris’ found in Mozambique Channel.
Possible debris from MH370 found
THE first photographs have emerged of possible new “MH370 debris” found on a sandbank in Mozambique over the weekend.
Independent aviation experts have examined photographs and video of a plane part found on a sandbank in the Mozambique Channel for evidence it came from, or has some link to, missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
The object, believed to be from the horizontal stabiliser of an aircraft, was found by American blogger Blaine Gibson, who is conducting a private investigation into the plane’s disappearance.
Mr Gibson had invited a handful of investigators to privately view images of the part on his Facebook page over the weekend, but news of the find only became public overnight.
The part, which has been described as a “fibreglass skin aluminium honeycomb cored panel” with no identifying features other than the printed words “NO STEP”, will now be examined by Malaysian and Australian authorities.
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Several aviation specialists, including members of the Independent Group (IG) and controversial journalist Jeff Wise took to Reddit to share their opinions on the origin of the part.
The overwhelming consensus appears to be that it is unlikely to have come from the missing Boeing 777, which vanished with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. IG member Don Thompson said in his opinion the component was not consistent with one that would be found on a Boeing 777.
“The found item is an aluminium honeycomb panel and, as such, is not a construction that is consistent with composite components employed on a B777,” he posted to Reddit.
“Neither did it look like it had been in the ocean for 2 yrs, or even lying on a sandbar where allegedly found as there was no sign of sand filling the honeycomb structure.”
Fellow IG member Victor Iannello also commented that the part did not look as if it had been in the sea for that long but was undecided about the type of plane it had come from.
“I was struck by the condition of the part,” Dr Iannello wrote. ”It had no barnacles, little or no algae, and no water line. The condition of the part was nothing like the flaperon that was recovered. As (Don Thompson) said, the construction is composite skin with aluminum honeycomb core, which leads him to believe it is not from a B777.
“I have not been able to identify a part on the B777 of similar construction, but I don’t have access to all the drawings of a B777, so I can’t say for certain that it is not from a B777.”
To date, only one piece of debris, a wing part known as a flaperon, has been confirmed to have come from MH370. It washed up on a beach in La Reunion on the Indian Ocean last July and was analysed by French specialists but those findings have yet to be made public.
Mr Gibson’s find comes just days before the second anniversary the plane’s disappearance, when Malaysia will also release its much anticipated report on the investigation.
Meanwhile, Australian authorities are due to end their search of the southern Indian Ocean in early July, although there are at least two crowdfunding campaigns underway to move it elsewhere.