Jet debris confirmed to be part of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

In the last few minutes, my phone lit up with breaking news alerts that the debris found last week on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean has been confirmed to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which went missing in March 2014.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed Wednesday that the plan debris discovered on Reunion Island belongs to the missing Malaysian MH370 jetliner

International crash experts began examining on Wednesday a wing part that washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion last week, hoping to determine whether it comes from MH370.

The examination of the part is being carried out under the direction of a judge at an aeronautical test facility run by the French military at Balma, a suburb of the southwestern city of Toulouse. Reunion is one of France’s overseas territories.

That, at least, now confirms that the plane was lost and not part of a grand conspiracy theory that had the Boeing 777 being stolen and hidden by terrorists. As an aviation buff, I closely followed the news theories that developed daily over a week or two just after the jetliner was lost. While I never truly believed the conspiracy theories, the situation was so unusual and had so many facets that such a possibility did not seem completely impossible. 

Though I imagine families had long given up hope that loved ones would return, I am sure this final confirmation is very painful for them and my heart goes out to them this afternoon. The fact remains that we don't know what happened to Flight 370. Hopefully, more clues will be found that will lead to the the discovery of additional information, if not the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, so the commercial aviation industry can work to ensure that whatever caused this tragedy can be avoided in the future.