Plane owned by Oscar-winning composer James Horner crashes; 1 dead

James Horner

Composer James Horner at the premiere of “Avatar" in 2009. A plane owned by Horner crashed Monday in Ventura County, killing the sole occupant, who has not been identified. 

(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

A single-engine plane owned by Academy Award-winning composer James Horner crashed Monday in Ventura County, killing the sole occupant, whose name has not been released.

The crash was reported shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Quatal Canyon Road, a remote stretch in Los Padres National Forest, said Ventura County sheriff’s Capt. John Reilly.

The crash of the single-engine S312 Tucano sparked a small brush fire that grew to about 2 acres, Reilly said. County fire crews doused the flames.

The county coroner’s office has not released the name of the pilot. 


Jay Cooper, the longtime attorney for Horner, confirmed that the plane involved in the crash was one of five aircraft owned by the composer. No one has heard from Horner, Cooper said.

Horner’s manager did not respond to a request for comment. A person answering the phone at the Calabasas home owned by Horner and his wife requested privacy.

Horner, 61, is widely considered one of the most successful film composers of all time. He won two Academy Awards for composing the music in “Titanic,” whose soundtrack includes the mega-hit “My Heart Will Go On." 

Over a career spanning nearly four decades, Horner garnered several Academy Award nominations for his work on such critically acclaimed films as "Braveheart,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Avatar,” “Aliens” and “Apollo 13.”


The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. 

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno