One person has died and three were transported to hospital when a small plane containing a family of four crashed on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast Thursday afternoon.

Mounties said the man flying the plane died, while another man, a teen girl and a child believed to be about three years old were transported to hospital with minor injuries.

The Cherokee Piper 140 crashed in a heavily wooded area shortly before 3 p.m., Assistant Fire Chief Dwight Davison told CTV News.

The site of the crash is about 1.5 kilometres from the northwest of the Sechelt-Gibsons Airport. Officials said the plane crashed shortly after takeoff, coming to a stop partly in the trees and partly on the ground.

"The single-engine plane was carrying four family members for a sightseeing trip. It lost power as it was taking off and crashed into a ravine," RCMP Const. Karen Whitby said.

"Three passengers were able to extricate themselves from the plane, and they walked to a local residence to call for assistance."

The pilot died at the scene of the crash.

His identity has not been released publicly, but his next of kin has been identified. Whitby said she believes the pilot was from B.C., and the others may have been visiting from out of town.

They were going on a sightseeing trip when the plane went down.

While the scene itself was not visible from the air, crews could be seen from CTV's Chopper 9 carrying stretchers into a wooded area nearby. Search and rescue members, paramedics, firefighters and Mounties were all dispatched when the crash was reported.

Two air ambulances were brought to the area in case of serious injury.

A representative of the Transportation Safety Board will be brought in to investigate as well.

The airport and surrounding airspace has been closed as crews respond to the crash. Members of the public are asked to avoid the area until the scene has been cleared.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Gary Barndt and Breanna Karstens-Smith