Artists who died in a plane crash
Died on June 24, 1935 in an airplane crash in Medellín, Colombia.
Saint-Exupéry's last assigned mission as a pilot in WWII was to collect intelligence on German troop movements in and around the Rhone Valley preceding the Allied invasion of southern France ("Operation Dragoon"). Although he had been reinstated to his old squadron with the provision that he was to fly only five missions, on 31 July 1944, he took off in an unarmed P-38 on his ninth reconnaissance mission from an airbase on Corsica. To the great alarm of his squadron compatriots, he did not return, vanishing without a trace. Word of his disappearance shortly spread across the literary world and then into international headlines. An unidentifiable body in a French uniform was found several days after his disappearance east of the Frioul archipelago south of Marseille and buried in Carqueiranne in September.
Miller was due to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris on December 15, 1944, to make arrangements to move his entire band there in the near future. His plane, a single-engine UC-64 Norseman, departed from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, on the outskirts of Bedford, and disappeared while flying over the English Channel.
He was on an Aerolíneas Argentinas flight to Buenos Aires from Mendoza on 23 April 1954, when it crashed shortly after takeoff, killing everyone on board
Two members of the group, R.W. Blackwood and Bill Lyles, died on June 30, 1954, in an accident with the group's own private plane.
On April 15, 1957 Infante was co-piloting a Consolidated B-24D, which had been converted from heavy bomber to freighter in San Diego, California. The plane crashed five minutes after taking off from Mérida, Yucatán, in southeast Mexico.
Died on February 3, 1959, in the crash of a chartered four-seat Beechcraft Bonanza airplane during the Winter Dance Party tour.
Died in the same plane crash as Buddy Holly.
Died in the same plane crash as Buddy Holly and Richie Valens.
Cline's flight, a Piper PA-24 Comanche plane, crashed in heavy weather on the evening of March 5, 1963 while on the way from a concert in Kansas City. The plane was found some 90 miles (140 km) from its Nashville destination, in a forest outside of Camden, Tennessee
Died in the same plane crash as Patsy Cline.
Died in the same plane crash as Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.
On Friday, July 31, 1964, Reeves and his business partner and manager Dean Manuel (also the pianist of Reeves' backing group, the Blue Boys) left Batesville, Arkansas, en route to Nashville in a single-engine Beechcraft Debonair aircraft N8972M with Reeves at the controls.
While flying over Brentwood, Tennessee, they encountered a violent thunderstorm and crashed.
On December 10, 1967, Otis Redding and his backing band, the Bar-Kays, boarded Redding's Beechcraft H18 airplane in Cleveland, Ohio to Madison, Wisconsin.
The weather was poor, with heavy rain and fog. Four miles (6.4 km) from their destination at Truax Field in Madison, the pilot radioed for permission to land. Shortly thereafter, the plane crashed into Lake Monona.
On December 10, 1967, Otis Redding and four members of the Bar-Kays—Jimmie King (born June 8, 1949; guitar), Ronnie Caldwell (born December 27, 1948; electric organ), Phalon Jones (born 1948; saxophone), and Carl Cunningham (born 1948; drums)—and their partner, Matthew Kelly, died when their airplane crashed into Lake Monona, near Madison, Wisconsin, while attempting to land at Truax Field. Redding and the band were scheduled to play their next concerts in Madison. Trumpeter Ben Cauley was the only survivor of the crash. Bassist James Alexander was on another plane, as the plane carrying Redding held only seven passengers. Cauley and Alexander rebuilt the group.
Died in a plane crash at Sofia airport on December 21, 1971 when she was travelling together with the Sofia Orchestra, Maria Neykova, Boris Gudjunov, the Aura folk ensemble and the folk singer Yanka Rupkina to the days of Bulgarian culture in Algeria.
During take-off a strong crosswind tilted the plane to one side and the plane exploded in flames. Of the 73 people on board, 30 died. Among the survivors were Boris Gudjunov and Maria Neykova with severe injuries and Yanka Rupkina, with minor burns.
On September 20, 1973, during Croce's Life and Times tour and the day before his ABC single "I Got a Name" was released, Croce and all five others on board were killed when their chartered Beechcraft E18S crashed into a tree during takeoff from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
On August 9, 1974 while en route to a scheduled performance at the Jackson County Fair in Minnesota, band leader Bill Chase died at the age of 39 in the plane crash of a chartered twin-engine Piper Twin Comanche in Jackson, Minnesota. Also killed, along with the pilot and a female companion, were keyboardist Wally Yohn, drummer Walter Clark, and guitarist John Emma.
Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines were killed in an airplane crash on October 20, 1977. The band had boarded a chartered Convair CV-240 in Greenville, South Carolina bound for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After running out of fuel the pilots attempted an emergency landing before crashing in a heavily forested area five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi.
Jantar died in the crash of LOT Polish Airlines Flight 007 from JFK International Airport on 14 March 1980, near Okęcie Airport in Warsaw.
Along with eleven others, Green died on July 28, 1982, when the Robertson STOL-modified Cessna 414 leased by Last Days Ministries crashed after takeoff from the private airstrip located on the LDM property. The small two-engine plane was carrying eleven passengers and the pilot, Don Burmeister, for an aerial tour of the LDM property and the surrounding area. Green and two of his children, three-year-old Josiah and two-year-old Bethany, were on board the plane, along with visiting church planters, John and Dede Smalley and their six children.
Rogers died alongside 22 other passengers most likely of smoke inhalation on June 2, 1983, while traveling on Air Canada Flight 797 (a McDonnell Douglas DC-9) after performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival. The airliner was flying from Dallas, Texas, to Toronto and Montreal when a fire of unknown ignition source within the vanity or toilet shroud of the aft washroom forced it to make an emergency landing at the Greater Cincinnati Airport in northern Kentucky.
On August 12, 1985, Sakamoto was aboard Japan Airlines Flight 123 (departing from Tokyo) - and heading to Osaka for an event. The plane crashed into two ridges of Mount Takamagahara in Ueno, Gunma, a disaster that remains the deadliest single-aircraft accident in history with 520 people killed, including Sakamoto.
Nelson died on December 31, 1985, flying from Guntersville, Alabama, to Dallas, Texas, for a concert. The plane was his own Douglas DC-3, which had a history of mechanical problems. All seven passengers, including Helen Blair, his girlfriend at the time, died. Only the two pilots survived.
In 1986, Daniel Balavoine was chosen to lead a fund-raising effort aimed at building water wells in Africa. In order to supervise it, he was invited by Thierry Sabine, founder and director of the Paris-Dakar Rally raid.
On 14 January 1986, Balavoine, Sabine, François-Xavier Bagnoud (HSH Albert II, Prince of Monaco's cousin), a female reporter and her cameraman got aboard Sabine's Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil helicopter to attend a soccer match. At 7:00 p.m., the helicopter encountered a desert storm and landed. But some time later, the chopper took off, and after a few minutes, it crashed and disintegrated, killing all five passengers on board
Dean "Dino" Paul Martin Jr., an avid pilot, obtained his pilot's license at age 16 and became an officer in the California Air National Guard in 1980.
He died on March 21 1987 when his F-4 departed March Air Force Base, California, on a routine training mission and crashed in California's San Bernardino Mountains during a snowstorm, killing him and his weapons systems officer, Captain Ramon Ortiz. He was 35 years old.
On Monday, August 27, 1990, at 12:50 a.m. (CDT), Vaughan and members of Eric Clapton's touring entourage played an all-star encore jam session at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in Alpine Valley Resort in East Troy, Wisconsin. Afterwards they took off for Midway International Airport in Chicago in a Bell 206B helicopter, the most common way for acts to enter and exit the venue as there is only one road in and out, which is heavily used by fans. The helicopter crashed into a nearby ski hill shortly after takeoff.
All the band members died when on March 2, 1996, the plane in which they were flying crashed into the Cantareira mountain range near São Paulo.
Denver died on October 12, 1997, when his experimental Rutan Long-EZ plane crashed into Monterey Bay near Pacific Grove, California, while making a series of touch-and-go landings at the nearby Monterey Peninsula Airport.
Died on August 25, 2001, in the crash of a Cessna 402B in the Bahamas where she had been to shoot a music video. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff, about 200 feet (60 m) from the end of the runway and exploded.
On the night of November 24, 2001, Thornton died in the crash of Crossair Flight 3597 near Zürich, Switzerland. The plane crashed into a wooded range of hills near Bassersdorf and caught fire, killing 24 of the 33 people on board.
On 24 November 2001 María Serrano-Serrano and Nathaly van het Ende died along with former La Bouche vocalist Melanie Thornton in the crash of Crossair Flight 3597, while Debby St. Maarten survived with serious injuries along with eight other people.
Died in the early hours of June 1, 2009 when Air France Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean at 02:14 UTC, killing all 228 passengers and crew.
Rivera died in an air accident in the early hours of December 9, 2012, when the Learjet 25 she was travelling in with six other passengers crashed near Monterrey, Mexico.
Gabriela Maumus, the bassist of the band, had been on board of Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf.
On 24 March 2015, the aircraft, an Airbus A320-211, crashed 100 km (62 mi; 54 nmi) north-west of Nice in the French Alps. All 144 passengers and six crew members were killed.
The crash was deliberately caused by the co-pilot, who had previously been treated for suicidal tendencies and declared "unfit to work" by his doctor. He kept this information from his employer and instead reported for duty. Shortly after reaching cruise altitude and while the captain was out of the cockpit, he locked the cockpit door and initiated a controlled descent that continued until the aircraft impacted a mountainside.
He died May 14, 2016, when his single-engine cropdusting plane clipped a cell telephone tower wire and crashed near West, Texas. He was 75.
On 4 September 2016, Bissonnette died in a helicopter accident in the Flatlands, near Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada. The crash also resulted in the death of the pilot, another passenger survived with injuries.
Junaid Jamshed and his second wife died on 7 December 2016 when PIA Flight 661 crashed near Havelian, Khyber Paktunkhwa, killing all on board. The flight was en route to Islamabad from Chitral. He was in Chitral for a Tablighi Jamaat mission and was returning to Islamabad.
On 25 December 2016, its artistic director, Valery Khalilov, and 63 other members of the Ensemble were killed in the Russian Defence Ministry aircraft crash of a 1983 Tupolev Tu-154 into the Black Sea just after takeoff from the southern resort city of Sochi, Russia. The Red Army Choir singers and dancers were en route to Syria to entertain Russian troops there for Orthodox Christmas celebrations.
On September 8, 2017, Troy Gentry died in a helicopter crash in Medford, New Jersey, where the duo was scheduled to perform that evening. The helicopter pilot died at the scene and Gentry died as he was being rushed to the hospital.
On 27 May 2019, Diniz died in a plane crash after a concert in Sergipe in Estância, Brazil on his way to surprise his girlfriend for her birthday party. The aircraft was a Piper PA-28 Cherokee manufactured in 1974 registered PT-KLO.
On Sunday, January 26, 2020, a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, around 30 miles (48 kilometres) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, while en route from John Wayne Airport to Camarillo Airport. Nine people were on board, including retired professional basketball player Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, baseball coach John Altobelli, five other passengers, and the pilot. Everyone on board was killed on impact.
She died on 5 March 2021 around 7pm at age 27 in a R44 helicopter crash in Xumabee Game Ranch (near Sojwe, Botswana).
Founding bassist Lars "Ratz" Ranzenberger was also an aerial pilot who had his own ultralight "trike" airplane. On April 18, 2021, he died when he accidentally crashed his plane in Mallorca, Spain. He was 53.
On 5 November 2021, Mendonça embarked on an air taxi with 5 people on board towards Caratinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil, where she was expected to perform in a local concert. The plane crashed, killing Mendonça, her uncle (who was also her manager), her producer and two crew members.