Malaysia Airlines
Ground crew work among Malaysia Airlines planes on the runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on July 25, 2014. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 should never have taken off the day it mysteriously vanished in 2014. Its emergency communications systems weren't up to par — and the airline knew it.

That's according to aviation journalist Christine Negroni, the author of the recently released book "The Crash Detectives." In the book, which came out Tuesday, Negroni asserts that Malaysia Airlines underwent a safety audit in 2013 that found its fleet of wide passenger planes wasn't equipped with necessary equipment that would have let it check in more than once every 30 minutes, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

"The aircraft functioned just fine," Negroni told the ABC. "The airline couldn't track it. The airline could not track the aeroplanes as often as they were required to do."

MH370 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 when it disappeared from flight radars. A satellite continued detecting pings from the plane for hours, but eventually even those so-called handshakes stopped. The Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers are presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.

In the days and weeks following the incident, a host of international authorities and airplane experts scrutinized Malaysia's response, with some critics accusing the country of a cover up. Sarah Bajc, the girlfriend of MH370 passenger Philip Wood, told NBC News at the time she thought there were "active steps being taken to interfere with finding the plane."

Malasyian officials repeatedly insisted they had "not done anything that would jeopardize this search effort," going so far as to say "Malaysia has nothing to hide," according to Sky News. But Negroni, who has written extensively about missing planes, implicates Malaysia Airlines in her book.

"Malaysia knew [the aircraft] was deficient and did nothing," she told the Daily Beast. "I don't think any airline would roll the dice with that now."

Malaysia Airlines would not comment to the ABC about the audit allegations. Negroni said she thinks the Australian government, which is leading the investigation into the missing plane, should force Malaysia to publish the airline's records so people can know more about the doomed plane.