Varig Flight 967

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

Varig Flight 967
Boeing 707-385C, Varig Cargo AN0493772.jpg
A Varig Boeing 707-385C similar to the one involved in the accident
Date30 January 1979
SummaryDisappearance; cause unknown
SitePacific Ocean, 200 km (110 nmi; 120 mi) ENE of Tokyo, Japan
Aircraft typeBoeing 707-323C
Flight originNarita International Airport (NRT/RJAA), Tokyo, Japan
StopoverLos Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX), Los Angeles, United States
DestinationRio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport (GIG/SBGL), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fatalities6 (presumed)
Survivors0 (presumed)



The aircraft involved was a Boeing 707-323C, construction number 19235, line number 519,[2] delivered new to American Airlines and registered 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 crewEdit

The flight crew consisted of Captain Gilberto Araújo da Silva, 55, First Officer Erni Peixoto Mylius, 45, Second Officers Antonio Brasileiro da Silva Neto, 39, Evan Braga Saunders, 37, and 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 Los Angeles International Airport. Its ultimate destination was Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport.[citation needed]

The cargo aircraft, operated by Varig, took off at 20:23 from Narita International Airport. Last radio contact with the flight was at 20:45. Flight crew was expected to radio at 21:23, but they did not do so. Radio contact was lost about 200 km (120 mi) ENE of Tokyo.[7]

Notably, the cargo included 53 paintings by Manabu Mabe, returning from a Tokyo exhibition, valued at US$1.24 million. Neither the wreck nor the paintings were ever found.[8][7]

See alsoEdit

Similar incidentsEdit


  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 26 June 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Accident description". Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  8. ^ Ramalhoso, Wellington (3 November 2014). "Boeing da Varig desapareceu há 35 anos e jamais foi encontrado". UOL Notícias - Internacional (in Portuguese). UOL. Retrieved 17 January 2017.