|Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 177):|
This is pure conjecture, but the missing/torn off/eroded part at the trailing edge could very well have been caused by a stable, horizontal flight in which the flaps were in a down position on impact with the sea.
I agree, that is absolutely possible from what we see.
But I don't think it is the only possibility. The trailing edge, and indeed the whole flapperon, could also have been torn off by the engine separating from the wing. In that case the flap doesn't need to have been in the down position at impact.
I imagine that the investigators can, from the damage on this flapperon, tell a lot about how it met the ocean - pitch angle, speed. And I think we can already rule out high speed like SR111, which ended up in small bits and pieces.
No doubt that island coast will now be searched for more debris, which might give even more details to how it came down.
I'm a little puzzled that such an aluminum panel can float when broken wide open here and there, and certainly along the whole trailing edge. Maybe there is some carbon fibre tube or box spar inside, which contained many qubic feet air? Anybody out there knows about that?
[Edited 2015-07-29 16:24:53]