A wing flap suspected to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370), which disappeared over 16 months ago, arrived at a French military testing facility Saturday to be examined by experts hoping to determine its origin. The wing flap, which washed ashore on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean Wednesday, has ignited speculation surrounding the missing flight after it was suggested that the debris was a flaperon from a Boeing 777 -- the same model airplane as MH370.
At a military aeronautical facility near Toulouse, France, aviation experts will investigate whether the found debris originated from the plane, which disappeared ner Vietnam on March 8, 2014, while flying to Beijing with 239 people on board. The investigators, including a legal expert, will begin to analyze the piece Wednesday, according to the Paris prosecutor's office, reported the Associated Press. The 8-foot component will be scrutinized by advanced technology to try to confirm the origins of the debris, according to CNN.
Boeing said in a statement that it will dispatch a technical team to assist in analyzing the part found on Reunion Island at the request of civil aviation investigating authorities and will work with representatives of the French aviation investigative agency, known as the BEA.
"Our goal, along with the entire global aviation industry, continues to be not only to find the airplane," Boeing said in the statement, "but also to determine what happened and why."
Air safety experts, including one from Boeing, identified the debris as a flaperon from the edge of a Boeing 777 wing, a U.S. official told the AP. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is the currently the only missing 777.
"In the aeronautic community, there is no [doubt] on the issue of what the debris belongs to. We are all convinced that it belongs to this flight ," said aviation security expert Christophe Naudin on France's BFM-TV, according to the AP.
If the piece of debris is confirmed to be part of MH370, experts will try to find other parts of the plane that may be in the area to figure out what caused the plane to crash.