Two pieces of aircraft debris that washed up on the African coast in March were “almost certainly” to have come from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) says.
The ATSB’s report said one part, a segment from an aircraft engine cowling, featured a Rolls-Royce stencil font and details that was “consistent with that developed and used by Malaysian Airlines and closely matched exemplar stencils on other MAB Boeing 777 aircraft”.
However, the ATSB said there were “no significant differentiators on the cowling segment to assist in determining whether the item of debris was from the left or right side of the aircraft, or the inboard or outboard side the cowling”.
Meanwhile, the second part was determined to be an interior panel from the main cabin, given its decorative laminate, and associated with a closet near Door R1.
“The pattern, colour and texture of the laminate was only specified by MAB for use on Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft. There is no record of the laminate being used by any other Boeing 777 customer,” the ATSB report published on Thursday said.
However, the ATSB report noted both parts did not have any identifiers that were unique to the aircraft, registration 9M-MRO.
The ATSB said the marine ecology and biological material was still being analysed.
The two parts, as well as a wing and a horizontal stabiliser discovered in Mozambique and a wing flaperon that washed up on the coast of Reunion Island are the only parts of the Boeing 777-200ER that have been found since it disappeared enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.
Efforts to locate 9M-MRO have centred around a 120,000 square kilometre area in the Indian Ocean, with 105,000 square kilometres having been searched so far. The search is likely to be completed by the middle of the year.