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Is this from an aircraft

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Is this from an aircraft

Old 6th Aug 2023, 03:11
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Is this from an aircraft

Might someone with experience in aircraft composite structures offer their views on whether this piece of wreckage is from an aircraft.

Claims have been made that the item is part of the left aft nose wheel-well door off a B777-200ER (from 9M-MRO, the operating aircraft for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, to be specific). There appear to be a good number of factors that strongly suggest otherwise. Expert input would be appreciated.




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Old 6th Aug 2023, 06:35
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I got as far as the Geoffrey Thomas byline before I stopped reading ...
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 08:19
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
I got as far as the Geoffrey Thomas byline before I stopped reading ...
Yes, I know the feeling. Let's call this a practical exercise in demonstrating Brandolini's Law.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 21:02
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Leaving aside the ‘wreckage’, I’ll start by examining the material it’s sitting on or embedded in. Why is it slightly depressed into that material in the first photo? It seems to have been placed into that substrate very recently; why? Where was it before? How was it moved? Why does the second photo substrate look so different (yes, simply white balance might account)? Why wasn’t it evidenced (photographed, measured) before being moved? My (extensive) experience teaches me to be sceptical when questions like these are the first ones springing to mind.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 21:07
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It looks like it is sitting on sand after the tide went out and the sand dried. Then it got flipped over. There is the crescent of black paint that mimics the shadow that was an optical illusion when I first glanced at it.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 21:12
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Originally Posted by MechEngr
It looks like it is sitting on sand after the tide went out and the sand dried. Then it got flipped over. There is the crescent of black paint that mimics the shadow that was an optical illusion when I first glanced at it.
No water has flowed over that. The sand edge is crisp and clean. There is no overwash sand on the piece. The sand is not waterlogged; the material was placed on it after the last water movement. I’m calling a likely foul.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 21:24
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Originally Posted by CayleysCoachman
Leaving aside the ‘wreckage’, I’ll start by examining the material it’s sitting on or embedded in. Why is it slightly depressed into that material in the first photo? It seems to have been placed into that substrate very recently; why? Where was it before? How was it moved? Why does the second photo substrate look so different (yes, simply white balance might account)? Why wasn’t it evidenced (photographed, measured) before being moved? My (extensive) experience teaches me to be sceptical when questions like these are the first ones springing to mind.
Apparently the item had been found by a local fisherman on the beach, taken home and put to use as a make-shift table/washing board. Some time later it was subsequently brought to the attention of someone who thought it might have been part of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. The item was then taken back to the beach where the local found it and photographed. So, yes, it most assuredly has been placed into that sand just prior to being photographed, and then turned over and photographed again.

The photograph showing the edge of the item was taken with it on a wooden bench.

The documentation of the item and chain-of-custody are pretty shabby.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 21:27
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Originally Posted by MechEngr
It looks like it is sitting on sand after the tide went out and the sand dried. Then it got flipped over. There is the crescent of black paint that mimics the shadow that was an optical illusion when I first glanced at it.
Per the response to CaleysCoachman , the item was placed onto the beach and then photographed.

But yes, you are 100 percent correct regarding the crescent/arc of black paint at the edge of the item.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 21:35
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It isn't "slightly depressed" and if it was moved to a spot out of the water then what difference does it make? Sand dries - why would it necessarily be waterlogged? The part was photographed in 2019. Is the idea that someone is making fake parts and passing them off as aircraft pieces? I would think that the authorities involved would have done the authentication or exposed it as a hoax - there seems to be no benefit to hiding the most likely crash site.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 22:59
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If it was photographed in 2019, it means it had been in the water for 5 years. There seems to be a distinct lack of marine growth for an item that has been in the sea for that length of time. Just a thought.
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 04:50
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Brandolini notwithstanding, the suggested history of this item is that it was found in 2017, and has spent time since then in a Fishermans home as a table, until it became known it was possibly from MH-370. Without going into the forensic analysis that is used to support it's provenance, it certainly is consistent with the left hand aft LNG door, which had the markings of the steering limit line, at the rear, and "MO" at the mid forward side of the full panel. If it is from 370, then it appears to be the section between the hinges, and forward of the actuating tie rod that opens and closes this door mechanically by the motion of the nose gear strut.

The fracturing is from a substantial compression force, would imagine that would occur in this area from either a controlled ditching or an uncontrolled impact at high speed. The size favours lower speeds. The fracturing is consistent with similar CFRP/honeycomb structures that I have observed that have failed from torsion/compression events (at the other end of the plane) and doesn't look like it has been emulated. The lack of biologic growth supports the time line that the background story gives, and the handling that occurred thereafter. It is unlikely that when used as a table the barnacles and other growth would have been left in place.

Would think this is what it is purported to be, but that is not going to increase the imperative to restart the search, the datum is still somewhere in the eastern part of the IO, probably within 120nm of the last ping, and I would lay odds on it being around 290M from the last ping, at around the 100-120nm location, r=25. The Boeing determination of the open loop descent, with an asymmetric exhaustion of the engines makes sense for that exact case, but the wreckage recovered has IMHO never supported an uncontrolled spiral descent open loop control. If this was a deliberate act, and the intent was to remove as much evidence as possible, a closed loop, low speed ditching would be a fairly high candidate for the descent. IIRC, the RH flaperon condition was indicative of being in the cruise configuration, which only indicates that the TE flaps were not extended, and that would still be consistent with a glide, controlled or otherwise.

The Inmarsat information was a revelation, and was not something that was generally known as a characteristic of the satcom system by operators. Finding the aircraft now is unlikely to materially alter the knowledge on the cause of the event. What is quite clear is that an aircraft operating from KLIA to ZBAA is hardly going to go to the KL/HCM FIR boundary, turn around, overfly WMKP, turn right, drive up the straits, hang a left at WITT and track south again. That is not something that is covered in the QRH or AFM.



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Old 7th Aug 2023, 06:15
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Originally Posted by fdr
Brandolini notwithstanding, the suggested history of this item is that it was found in 2017, and has spent time since then in a Fishermans home as a table, until it became known it was possibly from MH-370. Without going into the forensic analysis that is used to support it's provenance, it certainly is consistent with the left hand aft LNG door, which had the markings of the steering limit line, at the rear, and "MO" at the mid forward side of the full panel.
Is it consistent with the left aft nose wheel-well door though? Any concerns about the apparent lack of curvature of the item, the absence of any remnants of the red steering limit marker, the use of at least five separate pieces of honeycomb core material (including one "filler" piece that is only an inch or so wide), or the inconsistent quality/thickness of the bonds between the sheets of honeycomb core material?
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 20:30
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Originally Posted by MickG0105
Is it consistent with the left aft nose wheel-well door though? Any concerns about the apparent lack of curvature of the item, the absence of any remnants of the red steering limit marker, the use of at least five separate pieces of honeycomb core material (including one "filler" piece that is only an inch or so wide), or the inconsistent quality/thickness of the bonds between the sheets of honeycomb core material?
Let's look at it from the other side. If it is not from a 777, where do you think it is from? You seem to imply that people have been manufacturing 777 parts to confuse the story.
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 22:40
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Originally Posted by hans brinker
Let's look at it from the other side. If it is not from a 777, where do you think it is from? You seem to imply that people have been manufacturing 777 parts to confuse the story.
Hans, I am simply trying to find someone who has experience in aircraft composite structures to offer their views on whether this piece of wreckage is from an aircraft. If the item is not an aircraft component then it is not from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, and should it not be represented to the public as such.

For the avoidance of any and all doubt, I am not saying that people have been manufacturing 777 parts to confuse the story.

What I believe is that this item has been misidentified, but I am most assuredly not an expert.
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Old 8th Aug 2023, 10:18
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As an Engineer, I can say it does look like composite structure from an aircraft, but could be from many things that use this type of structure e.g. do sailing yachts, shipping products etc use sandwich/honeycomb construction? If it is aircraft, I'm not convinced it is a NLG Door either due to the thickness depth of the honeycomb, and one side of it appears to be unpainted (grey/black). If it is from an aircraft I'd say it was more likely to be a Wing to Body or Belly fairing.
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Old 8th Aug 2023, 12:45
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Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer
As an Engineer, I can say it does look like composite structure from an aircraft, but could be from many things that use this type of structure e.g. do sailing yachts, shipping products etc use sandwich/honeycomb construction? If it is aircraft, I'm not convinced it is a NLG Door either due to the thickness depth of the honeycomb, and one side of it appears to be unpainted (grey/black). If it is from an aircraft I'd say it was more likely to be a Wing to Body or Belly fairing.
Thank you for that.

Any thoughts on the five separate sections of honeycomb material being butted and bonded together to form the core? The use of a small "filler" piece and the inconsistent bond thickness doesn't strike me as aviation grade work but I'm just speculating here.

And yes, some sailing yatchs, typically racing and higher performance yatchs, do utilise honeycomb cored composite sandwich materials.
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Old 8th Aug 2023, 14:46
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Strange the way some people think. Someone posts a photograph of part of a man made structure and asks if anyone can confirm its likely origin.

Before you know it, some ignore the actual question but state that they suspect a conspiracy of some sort. The world seems to be increasingly paranoid.
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Old 8th Aug 2023, 18:57
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque
Strange the way some people think. Someone posts a photograph of part of a man made structure and asks if anyone can confirm its likely origin.

Before you know it, some ignore the actual question but state that they suspect a conspiracy of some sort. The world seems to be increasingly paranoid.
It's not often you hear "MH370" and "conspiracy" in the same breath.
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