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French gendarmes and police stand near a large piece of plane debris which was found on the beach in Saint-Andre, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, July 29, 2015. France's BEA air crash investigation agency said it was examining the debris,  in coordination with Malaysian and Australian authorities, to determine whether it came from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished last year in one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history. Picture taken July 29, 2015.     REUTERS/Zinfos974/Prisca Bigot

French gendarmes and police stand near a large piece of plane debris which was found on the beach in Saint-Andre, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, July 29, 2015. France’s BEA air crash investigation agency said it was examining the debris, in coordination with Malaysian and Australian authorities, to determine whether it came from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished last year in one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history. Picture taken July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zinfos974/Prisca Bigot

At the moment, it is believed (1) this part is unique to Boeing 777s and (2)  no other Boeing 777s are missing or lost a significant wing part

So, if someone can find a serial number that would be useful. Given the length of time and the complex interaction of currents and winds, while any confirmation is better than none, it is unlikely to help explain where the plane is or why it went there.

But, there are a few questions – is there any more debris in the float path? How was this missed by satellites? Does the damage (after 17 months in saltwater, storms, sun and so on) give any indications of what separated this piece from the wing?

There are quite a few barnacles visible – would they provide any clues?

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