New Zealand National Airways Corporation Flight 441 was a scheduled flight of New Zealand's National Airways Corporation from Whenuapai to Tauranga. On July 3, 1963 at approximately 9.09am NZST the flight, a Douglas DC-3 Skyliner, flew into a vertical rock face in the Kaimai Ranges near Mount Ngatamahinerua, at an altitude of 2460 feet. 23 people were on board. 22 were killed instantly; there is evidence that one person survived the impact but died shortly afterward. Three extra passengers were supposed to be on the flight, but changed their plans at the last minute.
According to Civil Aviation Authority investigators, a downward current carried the aircraft below the level of the crests of the range, where under the very poor weather conditions prevailing at the time, the aircraft encountered an area of extreme turbulence from which it was impossible for the crew to recover altitude. On the day of the crash, another plane was caught in strong downdrafts in the Kaimai Ranges but managed to recover.