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Video - James Horner plane crash still unexplained

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James Horner, his name may not mean too much to you, but he was nevertheless one of the most famous film music composers. It was he who wrote the Titanic background music. Those to Apollo 13, Braveheart, Avatar, and The Amazing Spider-man, were also penned by him. The composer died on 22 June, when his private plane, a two-seater S-312 Tucano, similar to this one, crashed. The accident happened forty kilometres (25 miles) north of Santa Barbara, California. James Horner was not only a talented composer, but also an avid pilot, passionate about flying.

During his childhood he attended many air shows. Later, he obtained his private pilot's license, and experienced the thrills of being an aerobatic pilot thanks to the American aerobatic team, "The Flying Horsemen". Sitting in the rear of one of their P-51 Mustangs, taught him about discipline. In return, James Horner composed a 12-minute musical score (Write your soul) for them, in 2010, transforming their aerial choreography into a sublime musical metaphor. James Horner (in a 2010 interview): ‘‘ it’s the first time I really feel like I’ve carried my weight - that I’ve contributed something important to the group, that perhaps nobody else could’ve. At the same time they’ve taken me under their wings, and are teaching me aerobatics, and are teaching me flying, and, as I get better at that, there’s hope that one day I’ll be flying t’the same piece that I wrote.’’

Was the cause of the crash due to a mechanical problem, human error, was he taken ill? At this early stage it is unknown, but a US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation has been opened. James Horner was 61 years old, and leaves a wife and two daughters behind.

Your comments
  • Tom Hudson
    Posté the 06/30/2015 10:13 pm

    Hi there. I'm the Editor of the James Horner Film Music Association, and I'd like to submit a minor correction to your piece. "Write your Soul" was the name of a short documentary about Horner's compositions for The Flying Horsemen. He wrote two orchestrals pieces. "The Fourth Horseman" is an unusually subjective work underscoring Horner's own experiences with the Horsemen. The 12-minute orchestral work he composed was simply named "Flight Demonstration Music", but it enjoyed its world premiere performance as a concert work under the simplified name, "Flight", in May 2014 by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Costa Mesa, CA.

    His fans across the world have heavily grieved this past week, but we are grateful for the legacy of over 150 hours of incredible music he left as his immeasurable gift to the world.

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  • Torvan
    Posté the 07/01/2015 4:13 pm

    Wouldn't the pilot instructor teach emergency skills - like gliding the plane or jump out with a parachute in these types of silly planes. Also, why the atrocious single engine plane accident rate? Many experienced pilots went out the same way, eventually. You'd think they'd learn from other's mistakes.

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  • Zoe
    Posté the 02/16/2016 10:14 am

    I truly miss him. Like Tom said months ago fans across the world did grieve heavily. I am still grieving. Thank you James for your music and your talents to film world.

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  • Jerrygo (guest)
    Posté the 07/01/2015 10:23 am

    A truly master. I miss him deeply. RIP James Horner

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  • Signalshifter (guest)
    Posté the 07/01/2015 11:42 pm

    This really upset me, James Horner has long been one of my favorite composers. It is sad but even the very best pilots have been taken by California's inland mountain ranges, where the flight conditions can be treacherous.

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