Aug 052015

MH370-debris 2

Malaysia PM 2

Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak, announced the debris found on La Réunion is from MH370’s Boeing 777. He said today,

An international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370. We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.” — Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak, August 5, 2015

“This is a remote, inhospitable and dangerous area, and on behalf of Malaysia I would like to thank the many nations, organizations and individuals who have participated in the search,” the Malaysian prime minister said moments ago.

He also said the first physical debris evidence of MH370 is in the city of Balma, France, near the city of Toulouse for examination by civil aviation investigators.

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak also promised relatives of passengers that Malaysia will not give up searching for the plane.

MH370-debris 18

Debris found on the island of Reunion is very likely from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The design of the plane part known as a flaperon matches a Boeing 777, and the characteristics of the flaperon match the technical specifications provided by Malaysia Airlines for that part.” Paris Deputy Prosecutor Serge Mackowiak, speaking to reporters on August 5, 2015.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports moments ago: A person involved in the investigation said, however, that “experts from Boeing and the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who have seen the object — a piece of what is known as a flaperon — were not yet fully satisfied, and called for further analysis.”

“Their doubts were based on a modification to the flaperon part that did not appear to exactly match what they would expect from airline maintenance records,” according to the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and requested anonymity.

Well, be that as it may, speculatively speaking, unfortunately some airlines at times supposedly make minor modifications to aircraft parts to keep their fleets flying that might be supposedly unexpected from normal airline maintenance records.

French and Malaysian officials, nonetheless, proceeded forward with their official statements today, despite the Boeing and United States NTSB experts’ caution, though, mainly because no other Boeing 777 neither has been lost in the southern Indian Ocean, nor has any such large airliner been lost worldwide since World War II.

Here’s Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s statement:


“On 8 March 2014, flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared. The days, weeks and months that followed have been a period of torment for the families of those on board.

The plane’s disappearance was without precedent. At every stage, we followed the tiny amount of evidence that existed. But, despite the efforts of 26 nations and the largest search in aviation history, from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, the plane could not be located.

Neither could investigations by the world’s leading aviation experts answer why MH370 veered off course and went dark. While the plane’s disappearance remained a mystery, we have shared the anguish of those who could find no comfort.

Last week, on 29th July, we were informed by the French authorities that part of an aircraft wing had been found on Reunion, the French island in the Indian Ocean.

Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370.

We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

This is a remote, inhospitable and dangerous area, and on behalf of Malaysia I would like to thank the many nations, organizations and individuals who have participated in the search.

The burden and uncertainty faced by the families during this time has been unspeakable. It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people onboard MH370. They have our deepest sympathy and prayers.

I would like to assure all those affected by this tragedy that the government of Malaysia is committed to do everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened. MH370’s disappearance marked us as a nation. We mourn with you, as a nation.

And I promise you this: Malaysia will always remember and honor those who were lost onboard MH370.”

— END —

Appearing below on Fox News, America’s News HQ on Saturday, August 1, 2015, I predicted Malaysian officials would be making today’s announcement linking the La Réunion Boeing Triple Seven flaperon debris to MH370.

First Definitive Piece of Physical Evidence Recovered from Flight MH370

Debris now believe to be part of the only large airliner of its kind lost in oceanic waters since 1948 washed up Wednesday, July 29, 2015 on the French island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar, a volcanic island of 850,000 people. The wreckage is now certainly part of a Boeing 777-200ER, the top Malaysian official, prime minister Najib Razak, and aviation experts now have confirmed.

MH370 is believed to be the only Boeing 777 to have crashed south of the equator since the jet came into service 20 years ago.

Below is an excellent detailed infographic pulled together by and derived from numerous aviation safety authorities, experts, private-sector, and public-sector organizations, circulating across the media, for the benefit of public understanding that clearly and briefly chronicles the underlying facts and current evidences and further investigations surrounding the search for MH370.

Photo Credit: University of Western Australia / Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center / Australian Transport Safety Bureau / Malaysia Airlines / Boeing / Australian Government / Inmarsat / AFP

In the past several years only three such Boeing Triple Sevens have been in an aircraft crash, including Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco back in 2013, where three fatalities occurred, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, where 298 passengers and Malaysia Airlines crew were killed.

And now this Boeing 777 wreckage surfacing, which has potentially created the biggest breakthrough in the search for flight MH370, missing since March 8, 2014, where 239 passengers and Malaysia Airlines crew have been officially declared as lives lost from an accident by the Malaysian flag carrier back in January 2015. National carrier Malaysia Airlines was operating a Boeing 777 on the ill-fated flight, which vanished from air traffic control and military radar early morning on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, igniting these past seventeen months the most baffling mystery in aviation history.

The flaperon debris on La Réunion is the first piece of physical evidence that the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean.

“Confirmation that the debris came from MH370 would also finally disprove theories that the airliner disappeared somewhere in the northern hemisphere,” Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan said.

“If the find proved to be part of the missing aircraft, it would be consistent with the theory that the plane crashed within the 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) search area, 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) southwest of Australia,” he said.

Aviation safety expert, John Goglia, a former member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, speaking to The Associated Press: “It’s going to be hard to say with any certainty where the source of this was,” he said. “It just confirms that the airplane is in the water and hasn’t been hijacked to some remote place and is waiting to be used for some other purpose. … We haven’t lost any 777s anywhere else.”

MH370 Takeoff 9M-MRO

Photo Credit: Missing MH370 Boeing 777-200ER, Registration Number 9M-MRO

Recovering MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER Requires New International Cooperation and Complexity

Under the Annex 12 and 13 rules of the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) — that governs traditional air crash  investigations — the conventional procedure after recovery of MH370 debris would have been to bring together Boeing experts and Malaysian aviation safety investigators to determine next steps of the accident probe.

But now, since it has been confirmed that the Boeing 777-200ER has indeed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean by the Malaysian prime minister, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center has to complete its underwater scouring of nearly 75,000 square miles of search area off the western coast of Australia at Perth.

Resolving modern aviation’s greatest mystery requires answers to two main questions: What happened aboard Flight 370 to make it veer sharply off course and disappear from radar? And where did the massive Boeing 777-200ER end up inside the southern Indian Ocean, spanning across current drifts from the French island of La Réunion off the coast of Madagascar to the western coast of Australia at Perth.

Several international cast of officials involved in the investigation brings forth not only new international cooperation, but also a new degree of complexity among government officials, aviation safety investigators and experts in Malaysia, Australia, France, China, United Sates and United Kingdom. 

Malaysia leads the overall investigation, as the sovereign flag-carrier of flight MH370, which departed the early morning of March 8, 2014 from Kuala Lumpur, moments before mysteriously vanishing from air traffic control and military radar.

Australia oversees the underwater search for the Boeing 777-200ER hull, since the airliner is now “conclusively confirmed” by international investigators to have crashed in a remote portion of the southern Indian Ocean, now known as the current 46,000 square mile “priority search area” off the continent’s western coast at Perth.

ASTB Priority Seabed Search Area

Photo Credit: Geoscience Australia

France, four of whose citizens were aboard the flight, takes a larger role in the Boeing 777-200ER crash investigation, when airliner’s flaperon washed upon a remote part of its territory, known as La Réunion off the coast of Madagascar near the southwestern coast of Africa. French authorities had already opened their own criminal investigation last year into possible manslaughter and hijacking in the loss of MH370.

“The French tend to be pretty aggressive” when it comes to asserting the authority of prosecutors, said Robert Francis, a former vice chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Because investigators suspect the plane went down as a result of an intentional act, Flight 370 has been “far removed from an average aircraft accident,” Mr. Francis, who has years of experience working with the French government, said in an interview. Therefore, he said, French law-enforcement officials “shouldn’t have a great deal of difficulty defending what they have done,” Wall Street Journal reports.

China, which had 155 citizens on the missing flight MH370, en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, holds the biggest stake in all decisions made about the search for the Boeing 777-200ER, including one might suppose, Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak’s go-ahead press announcement on Wednesday, August 5, the La Réunion debris “conclusively confirmed” was indeed MH370 that crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, despite cautious hesitation by French and United States officials. 

United States and United Kingdom government agencies — as well as experts from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Boeing Company, and the British satellite firm, Inmarsat — will contribute to the investigations until MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER is found, the aircraft hull recovered and re-assembled, and the causes of the mysterious crash are determined.

It looks like part of a Boeing 777 … if the flaperon is of MH370, it is in line with the current movement in the Indian Ocean.” – Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (shown above)

Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai pleaded on Sunday, August 2 for more caution in speculating about the finding of aircraft wreckage on La Réunion island near Madagascar last week on Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

Malaysian investigators arrived in La Réunion island Sunday for closed-door meetings on all day Monday to discuss the flaperon, identified by aviation experts as part of the right composite wing of a Boeing 777-200ER, which has been sent to a French military laboratory near Toulouse for checks, French police sources said. This laboratory is the same one that conducted the extensive analysis of Air France flight AF447 wreckage and debris recovered from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil back in 2009.

Tiong Lai said on Sunday, August 2, Malaysian authorities await confirmation to officially identify the wreckage as MH370 from the aviation safety investigation in Paris headed by the director of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), working in collaboration with the French aircraft crash investigation agency (BEA).

“Although from this picture, it looks like part of a Boeing 777, this is only seen by the naked eyes. This matter can only be confirmed after thorough investigation,” said Tiong Lai to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on Sunday, August 1.

He added: “if the wreckage is of MH370, it confirms the theoretical prediction of the currents movement in the Indian Ocean … We are still awaiting confirmation if the wreckage is of Boeing 777 or MH370.”

That is has now been determined officially by Malaysia and announced by the country’s prime minister.

The small French island of La Réunion near Madagascar off the southwestern coast of Africa is roughly 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) east across the southern Indian Ocean from western Australia at Perth, where the primary search efforts have been ongoing by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Australian Joint Agency Coordinating Center. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this week currents could have carried wreckage very far from western Australian oceanic waters east to southern African oceanic waters.

Photo Credit: CBS News / NASA / Australia Maritime Safety Authority

“If the flaperon is of MH370, it is in line with the current movement in the Indian Ocean. As we can see, the ocean current movement will show a pattern of flows. But we do not want to speculate and wait confirmation from the French authorities,” said Tiong Lai.

On Friday, AFP reported that Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi had confirmed that the object found on La Réunion Island was of a Boeing 777-200ER.

In the meantime, Australia’s deputy prime minister said on Monday, August 3, 2015, “the country still plans to end the hunt for the missing aircraft after the current 46,000-square-mile search zone has been covered, unless the wing part found in La Réunion yields hard clues that alter the current thinking on the fate of Flight 370,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

Photo Credit: Jean Paul Troadec — former head of the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA)

Aircraft Forensics of a Boeing 777-200ER Flaperon

According to the Wall Street Journal: The United States National Transportation Safety Board said “it dispatched one of its experts to France to help with the analysis of the part” at a military laboratory near Toulouse, scheduled to begin Wednesday, August 5, 2015.

“Boeing Company representatives also are expected to be at the lab Wednesday, according to industry officials. The company hasn’t confirmed whether it believes the part in question came from Flight 370. But Boeing officials helped Malaysia in its initial determination, based on photographic evidence, that the part came from a Boeing 777,” Malaysian officials said.

Photo above taken by Steve Richardson, Aviation Analyst for on a Delta Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, departing from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport on September 9, 2009.

Meanwhile, Jean Paul Troadec — former head of the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA), France’s counterpart to the National Transportation Safety Board — who led the BEA during the investigation into the crash of Air France Flight 447 —said on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, experts will try to determine three things.

“If there is a reference number on the debris, a correlation can be made immediately,” Troadec explained to NBC News. He added “experts also will be looking at the length of time the fragment has been in the ocean.”

“The seashells or barnacles will play an important role in determining how long this piece of plane has been submerged underwater,” Troadec said. “Seashells grow at a certain rhythm and depending on their size can tell investigators if they have been breeding 12 months or 2 years.”

“The investigators in France would also be on the lookout for other organisms such as tube worms, coralline red algae or shellfish that could also provide clues,” according to The Associated Press.

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Troadec said investigators also will be studying the debris to figure out how it broke apart from its aircraft.

French military aviation lab in Toulouse, where it will be examined, “possesses very sophisticated electronic microscopes that can help experts determine whether the piece broke off because of an explosion, a fire or on impact of something,” Troadec explained. That process, he added, could take weeks.

“No plane could continue to fly without this piece,” Troadec said.

Photo above taken by Steve Richardson, Aviation Analyst for on a Delta Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, departing from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport on September 9, 2009.

Appearing below on Fox News Happening Now on Friday, July 31, 2015, I explain the “aircraft forensics” linking the flaperon debris to MH370, which was found on July 29 on the French island of La Réunion, in full concurrence with the above statements of Jean Paul Troadec — former head of France’s Bureau of Investigation and Analysis. 

British firm Inmarsat satellite tracking data from the missing Boeing 777-200ER has yielded a nearly $100 million dollar scouring of 75,000 square miles of the floor of the southern Indian Ocean by the Australian government. The flaperon debris discovered on the French island of La Réunion is about 2,650 miles east from the current priority search area in the southern Indian Ocean.

“The possibility of debris washing up near La Réunion island is a scientific possibility. Although the currents today are significantly different to those seen 16 months ago, the Indian Ocean Gyre could move debris from the southern Indian Ocean in a counterclockwise direction towards Africa, spitting it out near the island of Reunion,” Mashable reports.

Australian oceanic science investigators of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization reported on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 that the Boeing 777-200ER flaperon discovery “matches with predictions from updated debris flow computer models.”

“Their drift model computer simulation was run from March 8, 2014 to July 30, 2015, to see if the flaperon could have drifted to La Réunion from the search zone somewhere along the 7th arc.”

The debris flow modeling below does show consistency with the 7th arc theory established by the British satellite firm, Inmarsat, which will further assist investigators in making adjustments to their current search area as the hunt for the Boeing 777-200ER airliner continues.

drift models australia

Photo Credit (via Mashable), Australian national science agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

Some Open Science and Technology Questions in the Crash Investigation of Flight MH370 Over the Next 12-24 Months?

The massive Boeing 777 airliner entered the ocean gently. That means the airliner was flying near horizontal as it exhausted its fuel and spiraling down in its last engine flameout, upon which the airliner was gliding and not moving extremely fast in order for the aircraft hull to stay intact. Else we would see so much more MH370 drift debris washing ashore by now! 

Hence, we should perhaps give some more credibility to any alleged eyewitness sightings or accounts of a falling airliner somewhere between the 5th and 7th arc theories, as consistent as possible with the British Inmarsat satellite findings.

Given that the Reunion flaperon is indeed from flight MH370, then there is one simple fact emanating.

MH370 must have “come down south of 10 degrees South in the Indian Ocean,” says Dr. Paul Scully-Power, a renowned Australian oceanographer, who also took his experiments on the 13th flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

“Because, if it came down anywhere further north, then any wreckage would have flowed in the opposite direction,” Power says in concurrence with experts of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Ocean Currents Drift Analysis of the World

This blows away many of the conspiracy theories, including hijacking and northern hemisphere resting places of the massive Boeing 777 airliner.

So, my further private discussions with Australian oceanographer Scully-Power raised additional issues as to what else can we suggest to ask of the MH370 investigation going forward in the next 12-24 months? 

1. Did the flaperon float on the southern Indian Ocean surface or was it a submerged drift, as it traveled 2650 miles from western Australia east to Reunion?

Answer: We deem the difference between surface float or submerged drift would affect oceanic windage and current oceanic drift calculations across the southern Indian Ocean.

2. Did the flaperon float or drift horizontal or vertical?

Answer: We conclude the biological seashells or barnacles distribution on the La Réunion flaperon would suggest a vertical float or drift.

This is important because, if vertical, the flaperon would act as a “wind vane” following the currents exactly and with much less influenced by the strong “hurricane-like” oceanic winds across the southern Indian Ocean.

3. Was the discovery of the flaperon announced as soon as it was found?

Answer: We suggest that this would impact any back prediction of the drift currents. 

4. One remaining key question is what is the average debris drift speed in the Indian Ocean South Equatorial Current?

Answer: Since it was 515 days until the Reunion flaperon was found, we conclude then that would indicate a MH370 debris drift speed of about ¼ of a knot (or about 0.13 meters per second or just 0.3 miles per hour) across the southern Indian Ocean. 

This is probably about right. An accurate confirmation of this approximate MH370 debris drift speed we suggest is an open scientific question for public understanding that could be posed to the French and Australian aviation safety investigators and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) oceanic science experts.  

5. Finally, a key scientific and technological innovation that is possible at this stage of the MH370 mystery emerges.

Answer: It centers upon Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), a precise satellite-based surveillance and airliner positioning system, which is already being implemented by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration at various U.S.-based international airlines around the world.

ADS-B system needs to be mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with the system extended to tracking aircraft worldwide through satellites, rather than just relying on conventional air traffic control ground stations. This would absolutely give the fullest coverage over transatlantic, transpacific, and transpolar oceans and remote regions of the world, like the Brazilian Amazon and the Sahara Desert.

Of course, others like myself have called for streaming limited flight data and aircraft performance conditions, literally putting “The Black-Box in The Cloud,” while being mindful of certain information classified to airlines and aircraft manufacturers.

Bottom Line Takeaway: It now appears that MH370 entered the southern Indian Ocean, according the British Inmarsat satellite firm’s 7th arc theory, currently being held by Australian and Malaysian aviation safety officials.

Steve Richardson (2) MH370 9M-MRO

Photo Credit: Missing MH370 Boeing 777-200ER, Registration Number 9M-MRO


UPDATE via Mashable: Thursday, August 6, 2015:

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss released a statement Thursday local time, cautiously acknowledging statements from the Prime Minister of Malaysia and French authorities, and stating “in all probability” the wreckage found on La Réunion is from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

He advised the Australian government is awaiting information from the investigation team in France before making a conclusive statement.

“The French-led investigation team is continuing to finalize its considerations of the wreckage and we will await further detail from them,” Truss said.

“Our expert from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) remains in France and will continue to aid the international investigation team.”

Australia has been leading an extensive search for the plane in the unexplored depths of the southern Indian Ocean, and the government advised it will be continuing this mission.

Truss added: “The finding of wreckage on La Réunion is consistent with our current search area. For this reason thorough and methodical search efforts will continue in the defined search area.”

“The Australian Government will continue to work to keep the next of kin of passengers and crew informed of developments as they happen.”



Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, August 2, 2015, Statement

Below is the Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, August 2, 2015, statement officially identifying the flaperon found on La Réunion Island on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 as that of a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.


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