Air traffic controllers failed to immediately realise that the Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing, because they were misled by their own tech equipment, aviation expert Jeff Wise claimed in his book, "‘The Plane That Wasn’t There: Why We Haven't Found MH370".
The doomed plane had been flying towards waypoint IGARI, which is sometimes called a "blind spot" because it is far enough out over the ocean and is sometimes out of range.
So, the tracking system occasionally loses aircraft around that waypoint for a couple minutes before they re-emerge on radars.
"You might think that all this would set off red flags for the air traffic controllers, but in fact this kind of winking out is normal. Air traffic controllers continued to see the plane symbol on their screens as the system assumed the plane remained on course", Wise wrote.
MH370, which was supposed to be flying over the boundary of Malaysian-controlled airspace to Vietnamese-controlled airspace, was meant to reach air traffic controllers on the ground to inform them that they were leaving the airspace, and then contact the controllers in the new airspace via radio communication.
The plane's crew reached Kuala Lumpur controllers, but their Hanoi colleagues, monitoring the plane's movement on their screens, never received the signal.
"Not until 15 minutes had passed did air traffic controllers in Hanoi begin to wonder why MH370 hadn’t radioed in to establish contact", Wise wrote, adding that this is when they sounded the alarm.
Despite an extensive search operation conducted jointly by Malaysian, Chinese and Australian investigators, only a few pieces of debris thought to be parts of the wreckage have been discovered at different locations, including South Africa, Mozambique, and the French Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean.
Last November, several new pieces of debris allegedly belonging to the ill-fated plane were reportedly found off the coast of Madagascar.