His death was confirmed by Sylvia Patrycja, who is identified on Horner's film music page as his assistant. "We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road," Patrycja wrote on social networking website Facebook on Monday.

Horner was piloting the small aircraft when it crashed into a remote area about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, officials said. An earlier report noted that the plane, which was registered to the composer, had gone down, but the pilot had not been identified.

For his work on the 1997 Best Picture winner 'Titanic', directed by James Cameron, Horner captured the Oscar for Original Dramatic Score, and he grabbed another Academy Award for Original Song (shared with lyricist Will Jennings) for "My heart will go on", performed by Celine Dion.

His score for 'Titanic' sold a whopping 27 million copies worldwide. His fruitful partnership with Cameron also netted him Oscar nominations for original score for the blockbusters in the 1986 film 'Aliens' and 2009 film 'Avatar'. The duo reportedly were also at work on 'Avatar' sequels.

Horner has three films coming out soon -- 'Southpaw', the boxing drama that stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams and is due in theaters in July; Jean-Jacques Annaud's 'Wolf Totem', out in September; and 'The 33', a drama based on the 2010 mining disaster in Chile that's set for November.




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