More than a year after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mysteriously disappeared without a trace, a piece of the plane may have surfaced. A broken Boeing 777 wing — the same model as the missing plane — was found on the French island La Reunion, just east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The piece found is believed to be the "flaperon," the part of the wing that controls the roll and bank of an aircraft, according to Metro.co.uk. The La Reunion police who examined the wreckage believe the wing was in the water for about a year, so it's very possible that it belonged to MH370. If it is in fact MH370's wing, the big question is: What can the broken wing tell us about the Malaysia Airlines flight's demise?
Since MH370 went missing with 239 people on board, no one has been able to determine where or why it crashed. Xavier Tytelman, an aviation expert examining the found wing, told The Telegraph that it makes sense for the plane's wreckage to wash up on La Reunion. He said: "We don't know how long it will take to get confirmation or a definite denial. But it's an intriguing development." The French police and Australian authorities are looking into the possibility that the wing belongs to MH370, using flight tracks to identify where it came from.
Although it's only piece of a wing, if the found plane part does belong to MH370, it may give investigators some clues as to what happened to the plane. Here are two things a wing part could tell us about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.
Where It Went Down
Finding part of MH370 on La Reunion may lead investigators to map out where the plane went down. The island is about 3,800 miles away from where the plane was last seen near Vietnam's southern tip and on the opposite side of the Indian Ocean from where search crews concentrated their efforts. Determining where the plane crashed is the first step to uncovering why it went down.
Where To Look For Other Parts
If a wing part floated its way to La Reunion, it's likely that other parts of the plane are nearby too. This discovery would reinvigorate the search for MH370 with more direction as to where to focus search efforts. Even if the wing part itself can't reveal much about the crash, it could lead investigators to other parts of the plane that hold more information.
Images: Getty Images (2)