James Horner’s death has been officially classified as an accident.

The Oscar-winning composer passed away at the age of 61 when his plane crashed in Southern California on Monday. The aircraft came down in the Los Padres National Forest at 9.30am local time in Ventura County, with fire crews called to put out the flames.

The people who fuelled the plane noted James was indeed piloting the craft before it fell to the ground.

Although the remains were badly burned, Ventura County Deputy Medical Examiner Zeb Dunn confirmed to the Associated Press on Thursday the body recovered from the wreckage has been conclusively identified as James. Zeb also noted the musician’s demise has been classified as an accident with the official cause of death being blunt force trauma.

James is best known for his work on the music for 1997 movie Titanic, the best-selling movie score of all time. He earned a total of 10 Academy Award nominations throughout his career and he won two Oscars for his Titanic score. The composer's other movie credits include Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Legend of Zorro, and he has won several other major awards including two Golden Globes.

He had been working on the Avatar sequels at the time of his death, and he provided the music for the upcoming Jake Gyllenhaal movie Southpaw.

James is survived by his wife Sarah and two children.