Since MH370 was a Boeing 777, why are they taking the suspected wing flaperon to Toulouse, France?

Are some spare parts made by Airbus?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Is it confirmed that the wing was from MH370? $\endgroup$
    – Firee
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 8:22
  • 16
    $\begingroup$ Why is part from B777 being analysed by Airbus Who said that it is? $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 9:11
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Firee I've read the whole thing and I must be missing something. Nowhere can I see mention of Airbus being involved. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 9:36
  • 22
    $\begingroup$ I think some people are just confused since they associate 'Toulouse' very strongly with Airbus... $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 9:37
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Firee It is now. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


Why are they taking the wing to Toulouse, FR?

Because the part was found on the island of Réunion, which is French territory.

Why is a part from a B777 being analysed by Airbus?

It is not. Airbus is not the only company/institution to have plants/facilities in Toulouse: The BEA (France's equivalent to the NTSB) also has facilities there.

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ There is a lot of aerospace activity in Toulouse. The French space agency, CNES, operates out of Toulouse - Toulouse Space Center. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 12:56

To extend a bit on Federico's answer. As I understand, BEA, the French accident authority, have some office in Toulouse while the facility itself where it will be looked at is military.

France's BEA crash investigation agency will examine the wing flap at the Direction Generale de l'Armement compound near Toulouse. Source

Also from the BEA website, under the heading ICAO:

In particular, States must start an investigation in case of a civil aviation accident or serious incident on their territory. It is specified that "The sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents" and that "It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability".

Close association between the representatives of the States of Registry, Operation, Design and Manufacture of the aircraft is organised. This brings to the State that is leading the investigation useful skills and information and allows for feedback that is as fast and complete as possible in terms of safety. Source

Which explains their responsibility in investigating the part. I don't think there are too many facilities with extensive knowledge of forensic engineering on impact-damaged (composite) parts (Even analysis of damaged Black Boxes is often 'outsourced') so they might even be happy to have the large BEA look at it.

The French are not unfamiliar with investigating aircraft accidents and have participated in a few substantial ones in the last few years. I discovered presumably the same folks were involved in forensic engineering work of the AF447 remains in 2011, which also crashed into the ocean.

French investigation agency Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses said the vessel would transfer to Bayonne, a port on the south-western coast, and parts from flight AF447 would be moved to a hangar in Toulouse.

The wreckage would be examined by the French defence ministry's technical aeronautical division. The recovery effort also retrieved several victims of the crash and these will be taken for forensic assessment.

Footnote: Since accidents with unclear events (or presenting controversial claims like crashing the plane) such as this one which can be a hot potato it is sometimes even desired to have a independent third party look at the stuff.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ It is also perhaps worth noting that Boeings have long been used by French companies (notably B737, 747, 777 and now 787 by Air France), in much the same way Airbus aircraft have been used in the States. I am also sure many Airbus engineers are current on their competitor's offerings, if only to better counter them. So I wouldn't be surprised there is actually quite a lot of knowledge about Boeings in the aircraft sector in Toulouse. BEA will have a large pool of potential consultants to draw on if necessary. $\endgroup$
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 12:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .