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Flaperon washes up on Reunion Island

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Flaperon washes up on Reunion Island

Old 30th Jul 2015, 14:10
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Luggage comes from various vessels, whereas the flaperon comes from a B777.

In terms of probabilities what's interesting is that the only part thus found is also a part most likely to be dislodged in a controlled ditching because it impacts the water extended down at a higher angle than the wing. If this is so, then we would not expect to find other wreckage except perhaps more trailing edge panels. If the aircraft simply crashed this panel would be less likely to be the first found.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 14:11
  #102 (permalink)  
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Looking at the dispersal model it seems as though it may be worth beachcombing Rodrigues and Mauritius.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 14:28
  #103 (permalink)  
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"Unless it is a very cheap case it should be possible to identify manufacturer, year of manufacture, get a picture of an original, determine where it could have been sold even. Then it might be possible for a relative to confirm if it might be that of a missing passenger."

that's the way they nailed Libya for the Pan-Am bombing - and there wasn't much left of anything there
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 14:36
  #104 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by skytrax
Hopefully more items will wash out on that island. I reckon a good look around on the beaches would be beneficial!
Originally Posted by RAT 5
Are you volunteering. If somehow I could turn it into a business trip and bill it to my company I will be joining you. If you have an idea, let me know.
A good idea, but it's worth noting that Reunion actually doesn't have that much in actual beachfront. Between being a small island, and a relatively young, volcanic island, much of the shoreline is actually pretty rugged rock.

(Oddly, I've been to the nominal area where they found this back in April, it's on the beach just east of the Savannah Distillery)
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 14:41
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fish Barnacles on the flotsam

PS: This is my first submission: Please don't shoot me down. Yes I am new here.

I agree with Chesty Morgan that barnacles are important.
Thanks also to Acklington and Europaflyer for useful comments.

The barnacles attached to debris washed up on Reunion Island are goose barnacles, and of a type that inhabit anything floating, but not anything submerged deeper than about 10 metres.

The size of barnacles has often been used as indicators for the time or any shipwreck or floating marine debris has been at or near the sea surface.

There are several cases relating to dating recent NZ shipwrecks by studying attached barnacles.

An experienced marine biologist could easily determine the time any bit of an aircraft had spent floating by examination of growth lines and size of the barnacles.

I am not fully expert in this, but by the size of the attached goose barnacles (and without any exact scale in any of the pictures), I would guess that the bit of flaperon has been in the shallow sea for somewhere between 10 and 24 months, and no longer.

I note also that all of the attached goose barnacles are about the same size, so it looks like the juvenile barnacles attached to the flaperon at about the same time (and when in the shallow oceanic zone), so probably the time that it first reached the sea surface.

But I am happy to be proved wrong by a more experienced and dedicated marine biologist.

I advise that investigators should use marine biologists from Australia, S Africa, or NZ to determine the time that the flaperon was floating in the shallow Indian Ocean. The biota of the Atlantic is quite different, and irrelevant.

Any alternative suggestions welcome.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 14:58
  #106 (permalink)  
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I think the point made is that the person in control is intending for the aircraft to be difficult to find. So that person drowning is part of the plan. Survival wasn't.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 14:59
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Go talk to the fishermen in the area. They will see lots of flotsam when at sea, catch some of it in their nets and throw most of it back.
If you offer them a reward for anything useful they bring in, you will get tons of stuff.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 15:47
  #108 (permalink)  
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Regarding the chart in post #60, the average (or mean) surface current may have little significance in calculating the path of floating debris. If the currents shift significantly about the mean on a seasonal basis, a northerly current in the area and time of the crash could push objects into the westerly stream at 12-15 degrees South latitude.

Also, it isn't clear from observation of these photos what orientation this flap would float (some analysis of sea life attachment might give clues). If it floated higher in the water for a significant period of time, its surface exposed to winds might have a significant effect on its drifting course.

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Old 30th Jul 2015, 16:19
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make four or five heading changes
I think the intermediate report reduced that to two (or 3 if you count the inital 180).
Quite different from the initial "zig zag to avoid radar" information...
Has it ever been known for a T7 to lose wing parts like a flaperon?
When they chop them up by excavators on so called third world "recycling" companies, such items come off. As the composite can not be recycled, they get piled up on some dump. Add a typhoon or a hurricane to that scenario, and one may be floating around.
Probably not very likely, but more likely than being hijacked by alliens...
And that item looks neither like chopped off, nor like intentionally removed.
More analysis will tell, at least we have something now to do real technical work.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 16:47
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Losing an entire flaperon would almost certainly be classed as a flight control failure and in the US, require an NTSB report. I can't speak for other countries, but I would suspect their rules are similar.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 16:50
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Surely all they have to do is do paint trace analysis and match Malaysian batches for a +ve ID. However this must be one of a myriad of float-able items that are highly likely to make landfall at the next stop of Madagascar and E AFrica where perhaps they are already being cannibalized as building materials for mud huts etc
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 17:04
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I seem to recall the "ping" data suggested the a/c ran out of fuel based on the last sequence of contacts. If you were planning to perform a controlled ditching, would you really wait and try to do it as a glider?
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 17:21
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This was a calculated and well exercised plan from the start, no debris means the pilot made a water landing keeping most of the aircraft in tact, and drowned the aircraft. He most likely depressurized the cabin before. Why the communication system on the 777 was shut off still baffles me. Had to be deliberate IMO or a fire.

If it was a fire or malfunction and the pilot landed to save lives even temporarily, im sure some if not many passengers would've opted to exit the aircraft as it was sinking, instead of drowning to death.........

Gives me chills just thinking about the horror they would've faced, here's hoping they'll find out more soon!
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 17:24
  #114 (permalink)  
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flaperon separation

T7 flaperon separation in normal flight has become extremely unlikely since the 2005 Airworthiness Directive http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2005...f/05-24050.pdf
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 17:33
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From the New York Times
..... [The flapreron] has been crated and sealed for shipment to France, the official said, but it is not expected to reach Paris for two or three days. It would then be forwarded to an aviation laboratory in Toulouse for analysis, which could take several more days.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 17:35
  #116 (permalink)  
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Real Question

If this piece proves to be the missing plane, is there any logical reason to continue the search? There is no crash site, but a debris field, washed away by the currents. There are no bodies anymore. There may be recorders which are mostly likely empty, or stopped recording at the same time when the radio, transponder, ACARS went silent. What more will we learn in that case?
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 17:41
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Why BEA / French

Given that the part is from a Boeing would it not be more sensible for Boeing engineers to exam in rather than the French ?

Cannot see the French being happy if the situation was reversed with an Airbus
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 18:18
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Why France?

The flaperon washed ashore in France (Reunion is a French Protectorate) so it will be investigated by the French Authorities.

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Old 30th Jul 2015, 18:23
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MH370 search: Malaysia almost certain debris found is from Boeing 777 - World - CBC News

Malaysia is "almost certain" that plane debris found on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean is from a Boeing 777, the deputy transport minister said Thursday, heightening the possibility it could be wreckage from missing Flight MH370.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 18:26
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Just a thought, with no particular evidence.

The presence of a detached flaperon might suggest a wheels up fully flapped landing on the sea, that resulted in the separation of the flap system.

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