Text of French Prosecutor’s Announcement Confirming Flaperon Link to MH370

Florence de Changy has provided me with the text of the announcement released today, September 3, 2015:

Dans le cadre de l’information judiciaire relative à la disparition du vol MH 370 de la Malaysia Airlines le 8 mars 2014, les opérations d’expertises initiées le 5 août 2015, suite à la découverte du flaperon à La Réunion le 29 juillet 2015, ont permis de relever -au moyen d’un endoscope- trois numéros à l’intérieur du flaperon.

Il est apparu que ces trois numéros pouvaient correspondre à la référence de la fabrication de pièces confiée en sous-traitance par la société Boeing à la société Airbus Defense and Space (ADS-SAU), sise à Séville (ESPAGNE).

Ce jour, sur commission rogatoire internationale auprès des autorités judiciaires espagnoles, le magistrat instructeur -assisté de l’expert en aéronautique missionné-, s’estrendu à Séville aux fins de recueillir toutes données utiles.

La communication immédiate des données relatives aux commandes et fabrication des pièces de l’aéronef, explicitée par l’audition d’un technicien de la société ADS-SAU, permet d’associer formellement l’un des trois numéros relevés à l’intérieur du flaperon au numéro de série du flaperon du boeing 777 du vol MH 370.

Ainsi, il est aujourd’hui possible d’affirmer avec certitude que le flaperon découvert à La Réunion le 29 juillet 2015 correspond à celui du vol MH 370.

Translation after the jump. Thanks to @Ghysbreght for the translation help.


As part of the judicial investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 on March 8, 2014, the expert assessment that began on August 5, 2015, following the discovery of the flaperon in Reunion July 29, 2015, has allowed the identifcation–by means of an endoscope–of three numbers inside the flaperon.

It appeared that these three numbers could correspond to reference parts manufactured by a subcontractor to Boeing, Airbus Defence and Space (ADS-SAU), located in Seville (Spain).

Today, on an international letter rogatory to the Spanish judicial authorities, the French prosecutor–assisted by the expert of the aeronautical mission–traveled to Seville in order to collect all necessary data.

Immediate communication of data on orders and manufacture of the parts of the aircraft, clarified by an ADS-SAU technician at a hearing, allows one of the three numbers found within the flaperon to be formally associated with the serial number of the flaperon of the Boeing 777 of flight MH 370.

Thus, it is now possible to state with certainty that the flaperon discovered on Reunion Island on July 29, 2015, corresponds to that of flight MH 370.


67 thoughts on “Text of French Prosecutor’s Announcement Confirming Flaperon Link to MH370”

  1. ad translation – sometimes might be usefull to try also translate.bing.com (preffered by me) to compare with google one and extrapolate from both results

  2. I agree with Jeff that Florence’s translation is correct. The only very slight ‘improvement’ I could suggest is instead of:

    ” formally allows one of the three numbers found within the flaperon to be associated with …”

    to say:

    “allows one of the three numbers found within the flaperon to be formally associated with …”.

    For the benefit of other comments I would like to add that the judge’s statement does not say that the three numbers found by endoscopic inspection of the flaperon interior are “serial numbers”. All it says that one of the numbers, with the explanation of the technician and associated paper trails, permitted the part to be associated with the serial number of the flaperon installed in MH370.

  3. I will stand corrected then. I just think it is odd that only one of three numbers are matching. Of course this could refer to a string of numbers and not only a single digit. Also ‘relevés’ means raised, lifted and would fit better with the word ‘issues’ than ‘number’

  4. @Spencer
    Spencer, put on your big boy britches and go play somewhere else, you obviously don’t do well here and have embarrassed yourself

  5. “relever” also means turn up, find
    “relever le compteur” means reading the meter
    I get monthly “relevé”s of my bank transactions, my consumption of electricity and water, etc.

  6. @Gysbreght, thanks for helping us out here. I can understand French to a certain extent but I’m not well versed with the subtleties.
    I wish they would issue an official report, and we wouldn’twouldn’t have to rely on filtered versions.

  7. @Gysbreght, Thanks for your help, I’ve made the suggested change.

    @all, I suspect that the reason that it took so long for the Spanish to verify the part number was not actually because they were on vacation, but because the French prosecutor had to go through the red tape of basically getting a subpoena (“letter rogatory”) to force EADS to release the info. This may have had to do with legal obligations that we don’t know the details on, such as the fact that Malaysia is conducting its own, seperate, and perhaps legally precedence-holding investigation–I have no idea, perhaps somebody with legal knowledge could jump in.

    @sk999, You wrote, “The headline should be “French reconfirm flaperon link to MH370″, giving equal weight to the French and Malaysian findings.” It may be that, given the above, Malaysia had access to the EADS information a month ago, and that’s why they were so quick to claim the identity of the flaperon had been confirmed. But if that explanation is correct, it’s pretty messed up that Malaysia didn’t just hand the info over right away. I remain deeply puzzled.

  8. @jeffwise: Don’t be fooled by claims of the red tape causing the delay in the determination of the provenance of the flaperon.

    Boeing and the NTSB were parties to the investigation when the flaperon was first brought to Toulouse. It is very unlikely that the Spanish subcontractor ADS-SAU did not immediately turn over all documentation when requested by Boeing. The investigators had to know soon after the start of the investigation what the provenance of the part is, whether or not that determination was made public.

    I have said before and continue to believe that there was an attempt to delay the release of the results of the investigation in parallel with planting a seed of doubt regarding the provenance of the part. Just look at the series of events this week. First the claim that Spanish vacation schedules have delayed the identification of the part. Then the claim that the identification was not possible. This was followed by the claim that the flaperon was certainly from MH370.

    The pattern of leaking contradictory or false information to the media from off-the-record sources continued in full force this week. I believe this is a story in its own right that should be getting a lot of attention. Perhaps when enough journalists are made to look foolish by reporting contradicting statements, their “reputation instincts” will kick in and compel them to dig deeper.

    We who are following this incident should demand that more facts be fully disclosed. Technical reports should be released so that we are not parsing statements from a judge-prosecutor to understand the true meaning of what was written. And journalists should not blindly report statements without attribution.

  9. @Victor, couldn’t agree more with your last comment.
    The provenance of the flaperon was probably established very early on.
    Journalists and media outlets have been instrumentalised for planting rumors, seeds of doubts and in one case an outright lie: that the flaperon’s origins couldn’t be established with 100% certainty.
    The big question is: why? Was our trust in the integrity of the French investigators misplaced or could there be ulterior motives for this prolonged charade?

  10. Perhaps they are not saying that the other two numbers do not match the records. Is it just that the French needed only one of the three numbers to “formally” associate the flaperon to MH370? The other two may well match but are not officially needed to make the connection?

  11. @Victor

    Several posters have advocated that we should demand full disclosure. The question is to whom those demands should be directed. I am quite sure that a letter writing campaign to the BEA, ATSB, and others involved in the investigation would be ineffectual.

    The power of a free press has often stimulated public officials to bend to the will of the people. I do not see that happening in this investigation. The press is running around willy nilly looking for things to generate copy. There seems to be no tone of admonishment relative to the behaviors of the people conducting various aspects of the inquiry. It would be refreshing to see some expression of outrage from the media.

  12. @DennisW: We spend a lot of time here arguing amongst ourselves about things that are already known to some. Meanwhile, the media have been unknowing accomplices in spreading the spin of the day. Perhaps we can build consensus with some of the more dedicated and knowledgeable journalists to force the official parties to disclose more and spin less. It’s worth a try.

  13. @Victor & @littlefoot
    Although its been a long and frustrating wait, surely there is still a lot more to be properly investigated by the French including the barnacles, the damage to the flaperon, the reports that it had washed up on Reunion in May, the feasibility of it drifting from 7th arc location(s) etc.. All we have so far is that it was part of the plane and no more information on how it got there. I’m inclined to give the French the benefit of the doubt and assume they are still working hard on the many angles in this tragic and totally messy situation. I certainly agree that technical reports should be issued asap and translated into the languages of all who were involved so there is complete clarity.

  14. interstingly, there have been German biologists, who have done genetic work/ mapping on barnacles. They publicly stated that they were willing tot compare these on the flaperon with their data-base. They can then tell us from which part of the ocean these Barnacles are, and thus more about the whereabouts from MH370. In all reports I have heard NOTHING about the French doing serious research on the barnacles. I only heard a German lab offered their serious help on this subject,and didn’t get any response fom the French investigators . This type of investigation on these barnacles could have been long finished by now and the results known to all. Why hasn’t it been done???!!

  15. Sorry, I’m at a disadvantage here as due to the time differences, I’m asleep at the time you are all posting so it is hard to keep up.(I live on the other side of the World to most of you)
    I know there are difficulties in the translations but I’d like to point out what could be more problems here.
    Quote from the French Prosecutor: “It appeared that these three numbers could correspond to reference parts”… note the word “COULD”. Using the word ‘could’ means they are still not sure – just as I have used it prior to this quote.
    And then the next: “allows one of the three numbers found within the flaperon to be formally associated with the serial number of the flaperon of the Boeing 777 of flight MH 370.”
    Obviously they are not talking of a single digit number, but a multi-digit number that could be made up similar to the original 657BB found in the leading edge… and maybe it could be a Part Number or maybe a Serial Number?…they don’t say!
    Being “ASSOCIATED” with the Flaperon’s Serial Number to me does not mean that you can immediately assume that this is definitely off 9M-MRO as these numbers could also be “associated” to other Flaperon’s Serial Numbers… they once again, do not give us enough information!
    If the French think that they can convince the World that it is off 9M-MRO, then they have to show us the evidence – not just tell us and expect us to believe them. Over my life I have seen many ‘experts’ who proved themselves to be complete idiots, so please excuse me for being so sceptical!
    The whole thing just sounds like someone jumping to conclusions without enough evidence as per what we have seen all the way through this bizarre event.
    Have you ever played the game called “Chinese Whisperers?” There are many parallels shown here!

  16. p.s. When I was referring to Chinese Whisperers, I was not meaning posts on this site.
    The majority of the posts here are very meaningful discussions!

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