Varig Flight 967

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Varig Flight 967
Varig Boeing 707-379C Hoppe.jpg
A Varig Boeing 707-379C similar to the one involved in the accident
Incident summary
Date 30 January 1979
Summary Disappearance
Site Pacific Ocean, 200 km (110 nmi; 120 mi) ENE of Tokyo, Japan
Passengers 0
Crew 6
Fatalities 6
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Boeing 707-323C
Operator Varig
Registration PP-VLU[1]
Flight origin Narita International Airport (NRT/RJAA), Tokyo, Japan
Stopover Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX), Los Angeles, United States
Destination Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport (GIG/SBGL), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Varig Flight 967 was an international cargo flight that disappeared on 30 January 1979 while en route from Narita International Airport in Japan, to Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport in Brazil, with a stopover in Los Angeles International Airport. Neither the aircraft, a Boeing 707-323C cargo aircraft, nor the six crew members have ever been found.



The aircraft involved was a Boeing 707-323C, construction number 19235, line number 519,[2] delivered new to American Airlines under registration N7562A on 31 August 1966,[3] and sold to Varig and delivered as PP-VLU on 28 March 1974.[2] The jet was powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B engines.[4]

Flight crew[edit]

The flight crew consisted of Captain Gilberto Araújo da Silva, 49, First Officer Erni Peixoto Mylius, 45, Second Officers Antonio Brasileiro da Silva Neto, 39, Evan Braga Saunders, 37, Flight Engineers José Severino Gusmão de Araújo, 42, and Nicola Exposito, 40.[5] In 1973, Captain Araújo da Silva was in charge of flight RG 820, a Boeing 707 carrying 134 people which crash-landed near Orly Airport, in Paris, with 123 fatalities.[6] In 1979, at the time of disappearance, he had more than 23,000 hours logged.[5]


On 30 January 1979, the Boeing 707-323C registered PP-VLU disappeared en route from Narita International Airport to Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport. The cargo aircraft, operated by Varig, lost radio contact 30 minutes after takeoff, approximately 200 km (120 mi) ENE of Tokyo.[7] Notably, the cargo included 53[8] paintings by Manabu Mabe, returning from a Tokyo exhibition, valued at US$1.24 million. Neither the wreck nor the paintings were ever found.[7]

Investigators found the cause of the accident to be cabin depressurization, which killed the crew.[9]

See also[edit]

Similar incidents[edit]


  1. ^ "Boeing 707-323C - Varig Cargo". 
  2. ^ a b "Aircraft construction & line number". Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Aircraft data". Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Background description of the Boeing 707 family". Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Especial Gilberto Araújo: Nascido para voar". (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Flight RG 820 accident description". Archived from the original on 11 July 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Accident description". Archived from the original on 11 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Ramalhoso, Wellington (November 3, 2014). "Boeing da Varig desapareceu há 35 anos e jamais foi encontrado". UOL Notícias - Internacional (in Portuguese). UOL. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Em 1979 aeronave pilotada pelo brasileiro gilberto araujo da silva sumiu entre toquio los". (in Portuguese). 6 June 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2013.