• Wreckage found on island in Indian Ocean could be from MH370
• Officials say debris in photos looks like it belongs to Boeing 777
• An aviation lawyer said Boeing engineers should be able to identify the wreckage within 24 hours
• NZ aviation expert says the most important thing to do now is wait until the part is identified
• Widow of Kiwi victim says ‘we’ve had so many red herrings it’s just an emotional rollercoaster’
• The sister of the Kiwi victim says news has left her feeling “wee bit sick”
widow of a Kiwi on board the doomed MH370 flight says she won’t get her
hopes up over news parts of the missing aircraft may have been
Danica Weeks, whose husband Paul was on the flight, told NZME
News Service today she feared it could be just another “red herring”.
crash investigators say they have a high degree of confidence that a
piece of wreckage found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion was from a
Boeing 777 – the same model as the doomed MH370 which disappeared in
Speaking to NZME New Service from her home in Perth, Ms Weeks said it was “way too soon” to comment.
“I’m not going to comment on anything until I know for sure,” Ms Weeks said.
had so many red herrings that it is just an emotional rollercoaster I
don’t want to [be] involved in until I know that for sure it is part of
the plane, or it’s not.”
She said she had been in contact with
Australian authorities this morning, and hoped to have a definitive
answer as to whether the debris was in fact from the fated flight within
the next 24 hours.
Until then, she would not get her hopes up.
just can’t. As I say, there have been so many of them, and I just can’t
get emotionally involved again, and go through the process until I know
“You haven’t had a chance to grieve in 510 days. Things come up and then it turns out not to be. It’s just heart wrenching.
“It is physically and emotionally draining.”
Weeks, a former engineer from Christchurch, was on board the Boeing
777, travelling to Mongolia for his new job with Transwest Mongolia. He
was one of two Kiwis on the flight – the other was Ximin Wang, 50, from
Mr Weeks’ sister said she felt “a wee bit sick” after hearing news that the wreckage may have been found.
morning, Sara Weeks said she was left with a “sinking feeling” over the
possibility that plane wreckage which was discovered could be that from
The debris appears to be part of a wing and
was taken onto the island of La Reunion, where it will be thoroughly
inspected. Photo: AFP/ Getty Images
“Basically the whole process has been quite long-winded and
quite drawn out and no one even knows anything. This morning when I got
up and saw the news is when I found out about it.
“I just feel a wee bit sick, just ‘oh s***, is that it?’
at the same time I’m torn. It could be it, it might not be. I’m aware
it has some kind of serial number on it so potentially they’ll be able
to tell us whether it is or not fairly quickly, which I guess could be a
good thing,” Ms Weeks said.
Even if it were the wreckage of MH370, there would still be unanswered questions.
Paul Weeks. Photo / Facebook
One of the images reportedly shows a section from the wing of flight MH370. Photo / PeurAvion
“We still need to know what happened. Where’s the rest of the plane and where are all our family members?” she asked.
“It just still leave a lot of questions it’s not going to solve.”
nephew of missing Kiwi Ximin Wang, who was aboard flight MH370 when it
disappeared, said he wanted to wait for more conclusive evidence before
making a comment.
“I have nothing to say until things clear out,”
businessman Ned Wang said following requests for comment by NZME
A team of investigators – including one from
Boeing – identified the newly discovered component as a “flaperon” from
the trailing edge of a 777 wing.
Investigators would need to
examine the wreckage closely to link it to MH370, but it was the only
aircraft of its type lost over water.
If the debris turned out to
be from Malaysia Airlines flight 370, it would be the first major break
in the effort to discover what happened to the plane after it vanished
on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board while travelling from Kuala
Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing.
In a statement, Malaysia Airlines confirmed it was currently working with the relevant authorities.
regards to the reports of the discovery of an aircraft flaperon at
Reunion Island, Malaysia Airlines is working with the relevant
authorities to confirm the matter.
“At the moment, it would be too premature for the airline to speculate the origin of the flaperon.”
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss’s office confirmed the Australian
government was aware debris, which appeared to be from an aircraft, had
“The debris is being examined by experts to determine its origin,” the release said.
Truss’ office said Malaysia was responsible for the investigation, and
was managing the examination with the assistance of Boeing, the French
Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA), the
United States National Transportation Safety Bureau, and the Australian
Transport Safety Bureau.
“In the event that the wreckage is
identified as being from MH370 on La Reunion Island, it would be
consistent with other analysis and modelling that the resting place of
the aircraft is in the southern Indian Ocean.
“Any new evidence will be used to further inform and refine ongoing search efforts.”
studying photos of the wreckage, French aviation expert Xavier Tytelman
seemed convinced the washed up wreckage was that of doomed MH370.
been spending the whole day checking and trying to compare with with
all the aircraft and all the data we have,” the former military pilot,
who now specialises in aviation security, told NZME News Service.
In the photographs of the wing, Mr Tytelman said a “match” was found between the wing flaps and those of a Boeing 777.
Added to that was the age of the wreckage, which was not covered in sea grass.
“It’s quite clean and according to local police, they say it was in the water for one or two years and no more.”
Similitudes incroyables entre le flaperon d’un #B777 et le débris retrouvé ce matin à #LaReunion… #MH370 ? pic.twitter.com/GDkzRLwi2h
— Xavier Tytelman (@PeurAvion) July 29, 2015
Tytelman said the only two planes to go down or missing in that area of
the Indian Ocean in recent years were MH370 and a Yemenia Air flight in
However, the Yemenia Air flight was a a different type of plane; an Airbus A310.
aircraft] doesn’t fit the shape of the wings and it doesn’t fit to the
wreckage, and after that you only have the Boeing 777.”
Tytelman conceded, however, that even if there were tiny sea currents of
only 1 km/h, the located wing could have travelled some distance.
Sara Weeks has been left with a “sinking feeling.” Photo / 3 News
New Zealand aviation expert Peter Clark said aerospace
companies Boeing or Airbus would work to identify what aircraft the
component came from.
“We need to get the serial numbers of the component off that part to identify the ownership of it. It’s looking positive.”
Clark said if the debris was positively identified as a piece from a
Boeing 777, it would reinforce his belief MH370 was brought down
Officials are examining debris found washed
up on Reunion island east of Madagascar to determine if it is related to
the missing MH370. Photo: AFP / Getty Images
Police carry a piece of debris from an
unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la
Reunion. Photo: AFP / Getty Images
“If it proves to be from MH370 it proves what I have been
saying all along. I feel it has been a deliberate action. That plane was
taken to the southern oceans, it ran out of fuel and descended into the
sea somewhere in those regions.”
Mr Clark predicted that authorities would have a more definitive answer within the first 24 hours.
A Boeing spokesman said the company was unable to make any comment until all the facts were established.
said Boeing were an “integral” part of the investigation. If a serial
number was found on the newly discovered part, it would make it much
easier to track, he confirmed.
Boeing had done everything it
could “from day one” to try to piece together the puzzle of missing
flight MH370, the spokesman said.
An aviation lawyer said the find
was “hugely significant” and companies linked to the aircraft’s
manufacture will know “almost immediately” if the wreckage was of a 777.
Schiavo, a former inspector general of the US Department of
Transportation, told Radio New Zealand that Boeing engineers should be
able to identify the wreckage within 24 hours.
There were very few 777 plane crashes and there had been none in the area where the wreckage was found, she said.
Schiavo told Radio New Zealand her initial assessment of wreckage
pictures indicated the plane involved had come to “a very sharp end”.
said the part appeared “unique” to a 777 and it should have a unique
identifying number, which should help investigators solve the mystery.
MH370 SUSPECTED PLANE PART – WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
What was found:
* composite metal object, believed to be from an aircraft, covered in shells
* measures 2m long, 1m wide, takes 4-5 people to carry
* appears to be part of rear of an aircraft wing
* could be a “flapper”, used as aircraft lands or takes off
Where was it found:
* Discovered by locals on a beach on the Island of La Reunion, French Indian Ocean, about 6000km from current search area
* Find is consistent with the path debris was predicted to flow, away from search zone
* If confirmed, would also be consistent with theory MH370 crashed within 120,000sq km search area 1800km southwest of Perth
What happens next:
* Malaysia has sent team to Reunion to examine the debris
* Authorities, including those in Australia, working with manufacturer Boeing to try to identify it
* They are looking for a part number or a serial number; there appears to be an unidentified number – BB670
* This would help confirm type of plane, owner of plane (MH370 was a Boeing 777)
* Expected to take several days to identify and/or confirm if it’s from MH370 or not
MH370 – Recap:
* Disappeared on the night of March 8, 2014
* Had been heading from Kualu Lumpur to Beijing
* Last contact made as it was travelling over the South China Sea
* Minutes later it veered off its route over waters near Malaysia
* 237 passengers and 12 Malaysian crew on board
* Most where Chinese, also 6 Australian travellers
* There are many theories about what happened
* They include the pilot going rogue, a hypoxia event, and even accusations Russia commandeered the plane to Kazakhstan
* It remains one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries
Search so far:
* Australia has led the operation to find MH370 since March 17, 2014
* Some 50,000sq km of sea floor in the southern Indian Ocean has been scanned
* Nothing has been found so far
* About 40pct of the overall search area still to be examined