Experts start examining wing piece that may be from MH370

French and Malaysian experts have begun examining an airplane wing fragment that could offer the first tangible clue about the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished more than a year ago with 239 people aboard.

The metal piece washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion and was sent to France, where investigators will determine whether it's from the missing Boeing 777.

In addition to confirming the provenance of the 777 flap, analysts say the investigators will examine its metal with high-powered microscopes to gain insight into what caused the plane to go down as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

An Associated Press journalist saw Malaysia's civil aviation chief and French air accident investigators arrive Wednesday to start the probe.