A key clue discovered six miles from where the Boeing 737 flight crashed could unlock the mystery into what led to the awful tragedy.
It comes after investigators found the "severely damaged" black box close to the crash site in China and are not aware if they will be able to retrieve any data.
The tragic jet was carrying 123 passengers and nine crew members from Kunming to Guangzhou when it smashed into a mountain at 350mph.
Investigators are continuing to search for the second black box amongst the debris in the hope it will be able to shed more light on what happened.
But in what could be a major breakthrough, a long piece of metal suspected to be from the aircraft was found six miles from the site by a farmer, according to The Sun.
Huang Jianyi, 80, said: "I saw a piece of metal. It was white."
The finding reportedly indicates that there could have been some kind of malfunction with the plane during its flight.
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Jeff Guzzetti, the former chief of accident investigations at the US Federal Aviation Administration said: “The questions are: exactly what piece was it and when did it come off?”
Guzzetti claimed it was most likely that the piece came off as it fell to the ground, though this has not been proven.
“In my view, that’s the aircraft shedding parts as it’s coming down,” he said.
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The metal has also indicated to investigators that they should continue to expand the area of search as pieces could have gone further.
Over 1,800 pieces of debris have been collected so far and more than 14 acres of land has been searched.
Aviation experts continue to be baffled by the crash and more information is needed to get to the bottom of what happened.
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