The mysterious case of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared without a trace in 2014, has another clue with the discovery of debris that could be from the doomed Boeing 777.
An American, who blogs about MH370, discovered the part, believed to belong on the jet's tail, in the channel between Mozambique and Madagascar, NBC News reported. The discovery of what may be part of the jet's horizontal stabilizer is only the second piece of debris found that may come from Flight MH370, a still unsolved mystery that sparked discussion about airline safety and tracking around the world.
At the request of Malaysia, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) continues to lead the underwater search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. The debris will be sent for further examination in Malaysia, but recent history suggests that it may be weeks before this debris is either discarded or definitively confirmed as part of the missing aircraft.
The first piece of MH370 debris was confirmed this past September, after a full month of investigation by France's aeronautical research laboratory near Toulouse. Found on Reunion Island, a French territory off the east coast of Africa, the a wing part – a flaperon – had washed up nearly 2,000 miles from the rough location of the crash site. Most official searches for the missing plane have been called off, but each new debris discovery both reignites efforts and suggests the rest of the plane lies deep beneath the Indian Ocean.
Malaysia's Minster of Transport, Liow Tong Lai, called for patience after the latest debris discovery.
MH370 disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014, during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. With no distress signals and no record of the plane's location when it flew off-course, investigators around the world tried unsuccessfully for months to find the plane, amid appeals from family members of its 239 passengers.
In November, a United Nations conference cited the disappearance of MH370 in announcing a plan to allow planes to send tracking data to satellites. The automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) would create real-time tracking capabilities and provide pilots with a 3D view of their airspace, according to Air and Space Smithsonian Magazine.
The new system differs from most other tracking plans in both its cost and universality. Although most American airlines use tracking technology, different airlines systems are often incompatible one with another, and additional services come with a fee, Bart Jansen reported for USA Today.
This report contains material from Reuters.