The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) determined that two recently found items of debris were almost certainly from the missing flight MH370.
On 22 and 30 March 2016, two items of debris were independently found on beaches at Mossel Bay, South Africa and Rodrigues Island in Mauritius. The ATSB was requested by the Malaysian Government in the formal identification of the items to determine if they came from the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777 registered 9M-MRO.
The part found at Mossel Bay was initially identified from the partial Rolls-Royce stencil as a segment from an aircraft engine cowling. The panel thickness, materials and construction conformed to the applicable drawings for Boeing 777 engine cowlings.
There were no identifiers on the engine cowling segment that were unique to 9M-MRO, however the Rolls-Royce stencil font and detail did not match the original from manufacture. The stencil was consistent with that developed and used by Malaysian Airlines.
There were identical inboard and outboard stencils present on the cowlings of each of the engines and the location of the stencils was found to vary between engines. Taking that into consideration, 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.
The part found at Rodrigues Island was preliminarily identified by the decorative laminate as an interior panel from the main cabin. The location of a piano hinge on the part surface was consistent with a work-table support leg, utilised on the exterior of the Malaysia Airlines Door R1 (forward, right hand) closet panel. The part materials, dimensions, construction and fasteners were all consistent with the drawing for the panel assembly and matched that installed on other MAB Boeing 777 aircraft at the Door R1 location.
There were no identifiers on the panel segment that were unique to 9M-MRO, however 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.