Sign up for the NEWS newsletter

You have been successfully added to our newsletter.

Let our news meet your inbox

'Titanic' Composer James Horner's Plane Crashes in California, Killing Pilot

by Andrew Blankstein and Tim Stelloh /

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Oscar-winning composer James Horner is feared dead after a single-engine plane registered to him crashed in Southern California on Monday, killing the pilot.

It was unclear who was piloting the aircraft but tributes and condolences from Hollywood luminaries poured in on social media. A source close to the investigation said the victim's body was burned beyond recognition.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A lawyer for Horner, who worked on "Titanic," "Avatar" and other films, told NBC News that the composer had five aircraft, including two helicopters.

"He's an experienced pilot," Jay Cooper said.

 James Horner. Frazer Harrison / Getty Images file

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration told NBC News that the crash occurred under “unknown circumstances” at 9:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. ET) near the border of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

"My heart aches for his loved ones," producer and director Ron Howard wrote in a tweet Monday night.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.