1 dead after plane with family on board crashes on Sunshine Coast

An RCMP spokesperson says all four on-board the plane were related. She says the pilot was killed when it crashed during what was supposed to be an aerial sightseeing trip.

Accident occurred with 4 on-board; 3 escaped on their own

Emergency crews mobilized Thursday afternoon after a small plane crashed near Sechelt, B.C. (Tommy Wang)

A family's aerial sightseeing trip ended in tragedy Thursday afternoon when their small plane crashed, killing the pilot.

Four members of a family were on-board the plane Thursday afternoon when it went down near Sechelt, about 60 km north of Vancouver on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast, according to an RCMP spokesperson.

Const. Karen Whitby said the family planned to check out local scenery, but the aircraft lost power shortly after takeoff and crashed in a ravine.

The pilot, an adult male, was killed. The surviving passengers were described as an adult male, a teenaged girl and a boy about four years old.

"There were actually family members at the airport that saw it happen," Whitby said.

Whitby said the survivors were able to free themselves, walk to a nearby home and call 911. Emergency personnel rushed to the scene around 2:50 p.m. PT.

A Google Streetview image shows the Sechelt-Gibsons Airport which the plane had just left before it went down Thursday afternoon. (Google Streetview)

Recovery mission

Sechelt Fire Department Assistant Chief Dwight Davison said his crews were waiting for RCMP approval before removing the deceased pilot from the wreckage.

"We have gone from a rescue mode now to a recovery mode," Davison said.

RCMP said in a tweet the crash occurred near Selma Park, which the District of Sechelt describes as a residential area near the waterfront.

Davison says the plane, a single-engine Piper Cherokee 140, took off from Sechelt-Gibsons Airport. The plane was privately owned, he said.

It crashed in a heavily wooded area, he reported, 1½ kilometres north of the airport.

Hazardous scene

Davison said the passengers were taken to hospital. RCMP said in a statement their injuries are minor.

He said 15 firefighters are at the crash scene, along with personnel from Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue, B.C. Ambulance and Sunshine Coast RCMP.

Responders had to deal with leaking fluids from the plane and contend with its unstable landing position, Davison said, adding there was never any fire related to the crash.

Whitby said the pilot's next of kin have been notified as has the federal Transportation Safety Board.

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