Police carry a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion, in the east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion July 29, 2015. (AFP/YANNICK PITOU)
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A sea-crusted wing part washed up on an island in the western Indian Ocean may be the first trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 since it vanished nearly a year and a half ago, and a tragic but finally solid clue to one of aviation's most perplexing and expensive mysteries.If the wing part is from the Malaysia plane, it would bolster that theory and put to rest others that it traveled north, or landed somewhere after being hijacked.When the plane is banking, the flaperon on one wing tilts up and the other tilts down, which makes the plane roll to the left or right as it turns.Reunion is about 5,600 kilometers (3,500 miles) southwest of Penang, and about 4,200 kilometers (2,600 miles) west of the current search area.Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister Aziz Kaprawi, however, said the debris was "almost certain" to be from a Boeing 777 plane, and that a Malaysian team of four experts was leaving Thursday night for Paris, where he said the wing fragment would ultimately be taken to be examined.If the find proved to be part of the missing aircraft, it would be consistent with the theory that the plane crashed within the 120,000-square-kilometer (46,000-square-mile) search area, 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) southwest of Australia, he said.
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