Walton died on June 27, 2005 when his CGS Hawk Arrow homebuilt aircraft (registered as an "experimental aircraft" under FAA regulations) that he was piloting crashed in Jackson, Wyoming. Walton's plane crashed at 12:20 p.m. local time (1820 GMT) shortly after taking off from Jackson Hole Airport.
The National Transportation Safety Board later reported that Walton had improperly reinstalled the rear locking collar on the elevator control torque tube. This allowed the torque tube to move rearward during his flight and loosened the elevator control cable tension. The outcome of the failed repair was an inflight loss of pitch control, without which Walton could not control the aircraft's altitude.
Shortly before his death Forbes magazine has estimated Walton's net worth to be US$18.2 billion, tied with his brother Jim as the 4th richest person in the United States and 11th-richest person in the world.
Walton was survived by his wife Christy and their son Lukas. He had two brothers and a sister, S. Robson Walton, Jim Walton and Alice Walton.
John Thomas Walton (October 8, 1946 – June 27, 2005) was a decorated United States war veteran and a son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He was also the chairman of True North Partners, a venture capital firm.