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Flaperon washes up on Reunion Island

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Flaperon washes up on Reunion Island

Old 2nd Sep 2015, 11:31
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@averow


We know with 100% certainty that no T7 ever lost a flaperon in-flight. What we no not know is how many flaperons were damaged, replaced and scrapped in the world-wide fleet, and whether there any chance that any of those scrapped may have ended up somehow in the IO.


Agreed, the above scenario is extremely unlikely, and all balance of probabilities point to it being a part of MH370. However for a judicial investigation that is not sufficient. I'm sure the investigators are busy requesting the records of all affected T7 operators to try to eliminate all possible unaccounted flaperons from the equation.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 13:34
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We know with 100% certainty that no T7 ever lost a flaperon in-flight.
To be pedantic, this cannot be true. As MH370 is still unaccounted for, the certainty can never be 100%. What if it was the first instance of this event? We may never know.

Anyway, the balance of probability is that the flaperon IS from MH370, but as yet other possibilities exist - that of a scrap item coincidentally finding itself in the ocean by unknown benign or even nefarious means, which I assume have yet to be entirely ruled out.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 14:48
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The obsession of some with Occam's Razor seems inappropriate to me, in that the wisdom of a 14th century academic may not be relevant to a very unusual 21st century aircraft loss.

After all, most aircraft accidents are the result of multiple causal factors, hence the swiss cheese model.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 17:36
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Originally Posted by ZeBedie
The obsession of some with Occam's Razor seems inappropriate to me, in that the wisdom of a 14th century academic may not be relevant to a very unusual 21st century aircraft loss.

After all, most aircraft accidents are the result of multiple causal factors, hence the swiss cheese model.
I don't recall anyone claiming that William of Occam was a trained aviation accident investigator.

But I suspect that those who are have no problem with the principle that the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 18:33
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My interpretation of Occam's Razor is "start with a simple explanation, you can always make it more complicated later".
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 19:34
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In this article from 26.08.15 Le Monde the final paragraph says that the 2 French families of the 4 French victims will be received by the President, Francois Hollande in early September.
Presumably the timing will correspond with the release of information
Heres the link:
Le Monde.fr - Actualité à la Une
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 21:15
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Has anyone thought to look for the flaperon everyone thinks was on 9M-MRO? This sounds silly, it would certainly represent an appalling lapse in the keeping of maintenance records, but if that is in fact the flaperon from 9M-MRO with an incorrectly documented modification then MAS's record-keeping isn't exemplary either. Do they have any other B777's with documented modifications as they appear on the recovered item?

Another thought centers around how the ID plate came off. It is quite possible that it corroded away to nothing, and is in solution in the Indian Ocean. Otherwise, I imagine whatever Boeing uses to bond ID plates to components can survive solvents, detergents and thousands of thermal and pressure cycles, it seems unlikely that seawater alone would penetrate and break it down completely. On the other hand, if the plate had been removed and reattached previously (there have been cases in the past where components that were allegedly scrapped have been rebirthed) the bond could be less than perfect. Come to think of it, are all MAS's (in particular) flaperon ID tags correctly attached?

On the whole, I think the most likely explanation is that the flaperon is the genuine part that was fitted to 9M-MRO when it disappeared and that MAS's record-keeping isn't up to standard. On the other hand, the proof is not absolute, and so far the French investigators have reported enough discrepancies that some other possibilities can't be ruled out. I don't believe global conspiracies or alien (or CIA) abductions played any part in this mystery, but there seems to be some dubious maintenance practices in play. "How dubious?" remains the question.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 21:55
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Can anyone clear up my lack of understanding as to how the missing data plate was bonded to the component and how that entire bonding could have failed. I have not as yet seen that discussed here
Stainless steel to composite bonds are very easy to get wrong. If the surface is badly prepared, or the operator touched the prepared surface with bare hands, the joint could easily fail. Rarely will a bond on a component like this data plate have 100% adhesion across the face. Once moisture gets inbetween the two components it will freeze at altitude and gradually separate them. After a while, the fillet around the edge may be all that is holding it on. A bit of bashing across a reef may have been the final straw.

I should add that the process of attempting to certificate a GRP and stainless steel aerospace component was how I learned the above. I forget how many tensometer tests we conducted in all, but it went on for several months.

Last edited by Mechta; 2nd Sep 2015 at 22:08.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 23:40
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There is a reasonable likelihood the data plate has been missing for some time. It would never be checked unless the flaperon was changed.

Anyone that works with skydrol will know its wonderful qualities and ability to strip just about anything given time.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 23:44
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GMorton,

I also heard that from a French acquaintance.

I suspect that when the next of kin meet with the French president it may provide us with some answers.

Surely presidential staff would not arrange this to say we have no answers?
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 00:24
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Thank you, IanW, for posting the best summary of the estimated flight path of MH 370.
What is puzzling to me is the inferred altitude changes. Climbing to ceiling and then flying for a hour at low altitude are fuel intensive actions. They seem inconsistent with the eventual range apparently achieved.
What is the explanation?
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 00:51
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Wasn't there damage to the flaperon? We're the data plates just plain ripped off when the other damage occurred? Or are the mounting locations fully intact, minus the plates?
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 01:17
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"Wasn't there damage to the flaperon? We're the data plates just plain ripped off when the other damage occurred? Or are the mounting locations fully intact, minus the plates?"

Pics earlier in this thread show the mounting areas undamaged.



"There is a reasonable likelihood the data plate has been missing for some time. It would never be checked unless the flaperon was changed.

Anyone that works with skydrol will know its wonderful qualities and ability to strip just about anything given time. "

True, the ID plates are not checked unless the part is being repaired, replaced, or modified. Plus, we would always place aircraft in the wash pit before major inspections, and the flap/slat areas always got a good going over by a steam, jenny. If a plate was loose, that could remove it.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 02:22
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short bus,
Wasn't there damage to the flaperon? We're the data plates just plain ripped off when the other damage occurred? Or are the mounting locations fully intact, minus the plates?
There is a huge energy required to rip off the hinges and the trailing edge, so only two possibilities to achieve this: power tools (scrap disassembly) or of course impact with the ocean surface. So, the flaperon is from a B777 that crashed, that's quite clear. Moreover that B777 was maintained by malaysians. Since, the flaperon has been found in the ocean, it does not belong to the MH17 (I assume it was completely pulverized by the explosion and post crash fire). In case it was not planted at Reunion, this flaperon belongs to the MH370 , crystal clear. Otherwise, I'm ready to eat all the goose barnacles from it, if they are not already smelly.

Last edited by _Phoenix; 3rd Sep 2015 at 03:36. Reason: Typos
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 03:50
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Here is a picture of the inboard edge during landing showing the ID plate.


and what was found.

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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 06:39
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Originally Posted by etudiant
Thank you, IanW, for posting the best summary of the estimated flight path of MH 370.
What is puzzling to me is the inferred altitude changes. Climbing to ceiling and then flying for a hour at low altitude are fuel intensive actions. They seem inconsistent with the eventual range apparently achieved.
What is the explanation?
You need to (re-)read the original MH370 thread to understand the doubts that have been cast on the primary radar-derived altitude estimates.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 07:23
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Thanks Sardak, those photos are helpful. I've looked at the best images I could find of the mystery flaperon, and seen no sign that a serial plate was ever there. I would expect to see residual adhesive- a rectangular shape. Perhaps the serial plate was removed or fell off, and the flaperon repainted at some point. I guess we'll just have to wait for the French to do their analysis and announce their findings.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 08:23
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Regarding the primary radar altitude data, there were all kinds of rumors in the beginning. There is now the official report, which you can find by searching for "mh370 factual information pdf". Look for section "1.1.3 Diversion from Filed Flight Plan Route". It has the details on the radar data. It lists 35,700' as the highest altitude measured, and 31,100' as the lowest. So no zooming to 40,000' or flying at treetop level.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 08:44
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Originally Posted by sardak
Here is a picture of the inboard edge during landing showing the ID plate.
...
and what was found.
thanks sardak. re-oriented for comparison.

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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 09:05
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I would like to close this debate by suggesting a return to the alien abduction theory or, following a well handled decompression but struggling control of the recovery, trigger happy "someone's", fearing a 9-11 but this time of some Ozy target, shot it down. The flaperon find is obviously a plant like the leather glove in the OJ case. OK, case closed & I am off to rule on other Pprune issues.
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