The MH370 Safety Investigation Team confirmed to MH370Latest on Wednesday that a piece of possible aircraft debris discovered in late December is still being investigated. The piece of debris, discovered by retired South African cricketer Albie Morkel, is in the custody of MH370 investigators who are still reviewing and testing it, an official said.
“We have received the part and it is still under investigation,” the official said via email.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau [ATSB], another agency assisting with the search for MH370 since it moved to Western Australia, confirmed that the piece of debris was not at the ATSB laboratories but in Malaysia’s custody.
“They retain authority for the investigation and the coordination of other nations’ input,” said Dan O’Malley, the ATSB’s Communications Officer for MH370, via email.
In July 2015, a flaperon was discovered off the coast of Africa and later tests on the paint and maintenance records matched those of MH370. The flaperon became the first piece of debris directly linked to the missing Boeing 777-200ER, over one year after the flight vanished into thin air.
The discoveries led to additional scrunity in that part of the world and even prompted frustrated family members to undertake a self-funded trip to Madagascar in December.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur to Beijing at 12:41 a.m. local time on March 8, 2014 but air traffic controllers lost contact with the jetliner at 1:19 a.m. two minutes [transponder switched off at 1:21 a.m.] after that final, now infamous transmission:
Good night, Malaysian three seven zero