Date & Time: Jan 30, 1979 at 2100 LT
Type of aircraft:
Lake, Sea, Ocean, River
Tokyo – Los Angeles – Lima – Rio de Janeiro
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
The four engine airplane departed Tokyo-Narita Airport at 2023LT on a cargo flight to Rio de Janeiro with intermediate stops in Los Angeles and Lima. There were six crew members on board as well as 53 paintings by Manabu Mabe, returning from a Tokyo exhibition, valued at US$1.24 million. At 2045LT, the last radio transmission was recorded with ATC and about 15 minutes later, while in cruising altitude, the airplane disappeared from the radar screens. SAR operations were immediately initiated by Japanese and American Authorities but eventually suspended after several days as no trace of the aircraft nor the six occupants was found. The captain, Gilberto Araújo da Silva, was flying the Varig Boeing 707 that crashed while approaching Paris-Orly Airport on July 11, 1973.
Due to lack of evidences as the wreckage was not found, the exact cause of the accident could not be determined. However, it was reported that the crew did not send any distress call and it is believed that the accident may have been caused by a sudden and accidental decompression of the cabin.