The mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last year still remains unsolved. However, new airplane debris found from the Indian Ocean may possibly be tied to the doomed airliner.
According to Margot Haddad and Jason Hanna of CNN, a member of the French air force mentioned that airplane debris has been found off the coast of Reunion Island, which is run by France and located about 380 nautical miles off the coast of Madagascar. Adjutant Christian Retournat indicated that the debris was located off the coast of St. Andre.
"It is way too soon to say whether or not it is MH370. We just found the debris this morning," Retournat said.
Retournat added that the debris, which looks like a wing flap, has been taken to the island. CNN reported that authorities are trying to determine whether or not the debris is connected to the disappearance of MH370.
CNN analyst Les Abend indicated that the determination should be "very simple," given that there are serial numbers embedded to numerous parts of the plane. Those numbers could be linked to the plane's model and the exact aircraft.
"This means crash investigators may be able to figure it out from photographs of the part -- which could be an aileron, a flap or a flaperon -- even before arriving on the island," Haddad and Hanna wrote, citing Abend.
CNN safety analyst David Soucie believed that the debris was connected to MH370. He noted that the part appeared to have been torn off the aircraft.
"This is from a sudden impact, it looks like to me," Soucie said.
CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo made a bolder prediction, based on the fact that not many Boeing 777 planes have crashed so far.
"If it is a part from a triple 7, we can be fairly confident it is from 370 because there just haven't been that many triple 7 crashes and there haven't been any in this area," Schiavo said.
According to a report from Fox News, Reunion Island is thousands of miles west of the MH370 search area, which covers about 75,000 square miles. Given the distance, David Cenciotti of TheAviationist.com expressed doubts that the debris came from MH370.
"The Malaysia Airlines B777 is not the only plane that went missing, and there are some mysteriously disappeared in Africa. It could even be one of those aircraft," Cenciotti said. "I'm not saying that one is not the MH370, just that it's weird that debris appeared over there."
Fox News reported that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to lead the search efforts for MH370, which has cost more than $100 million and yielded little so far.
"Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow," ATSB said on Wednesday. "Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible."
However, volunteer investigator Andre Milne predicted to Tom Batchelor of Daily Express that the debris could indeed be from MH370.
"At the point of impact the water would have caused the flap itself to experience massive torsion loads...resulting in the flap to break off and separate from MH 370," Milne said. "The flap then drifted with relative oceanic currents in a long northerly curving arc that eventually went south west to where it was located."
According to Fox News, MH370 disappeared last year somewhere over the South China Sea as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane had 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers on board.