Accident Douglas DC-7B N4891C,
ASN logo

Date:Monday 16 November 1959
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-7B
Owner/operator:National Airlines
Registration: N4891C
MSN: 45355/922
Year of manufacture:1958
Total airframe hrs:6578 hours
Engine model:Wright R-3350
Fatalities:Fatalities: 42 / Occupants: 42
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:57 km E off Pilottown, LA [Gulf of Mexico] -   Atlantic Ocean
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Tampa International Airport, FL (TPA/KTPA)
Destination airport:New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY/KMSY)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
National Airlines Flight 967 took off from Tampa (TPA) at 23:32 for a flight to New Orleans (MSY) at FL140. At 00:55 the aircraft suddenly crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.
Intensive sea and air searches resulted in finding ten floating bodies and a small amount of floating debris the following morning. The main wreckage has not been located despite several well placed searches.

There is speculation that a con man by the name of Robert Vernon Spears had sabotaged the aircraft. He had taken an air travel policy of $100,000 and gave his ticket to William Allen Taylor, of Tampa, Florida. After the accident, Spears disappeared and was later apprehended in Phoenix, Arizona. He supposedly disappeared to avoid prosecution for abortion.

The Civil Aeronautics Board, with the aid of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), thoroughly investigated Mr. Spears' activities in order to determine whether they might have had a bearing upon the accident. They were unable to find any such relationship.
Mr. Spears died May 2, 1969.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Because of the lack of physical evidence, the probable cause of this accident is unknown."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


ICAO Circular 64-AN/58 (77-79)
LIFE Magazine 1 Feb 1960


Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314