RICHMOND, B.C. -- An experienced pilot from Vancouver Island has been identified as one of the three people killed when a small plane crashed down on Gabriola Island Tuesday.

A friend told CTV News that Mill Bay resident Alex Bahlsen is among the victims, and that his wife, who is currently on vacation out of country, has been notified about the terrible news.

Raz Rydstrøm-Poulsen said he knew Bahlsen for about five years, and that he was funny, adventurous and an extremely capable pilot.

"He was amazing. I don't know what else to say," Rydstrøm-Poulsen said. "He was the smoothest, best pilot in the universe."

Bahlsen was in a piston twin-engine aircraft that went down Tuesday evening on the northern tip of Gabriola, a small Gulf Island located about five kilometres east of Nanaimo.

Witnesses said they saw a small plane that appeared to be in trouble at around 6:30 p.m., followed by a loud sound that shook some homes in the area.

There were three people on board the aircraft, and no survivors.

The Transportation Safety Board has sent three investigators to the crash scene, but they are still gathering information and few details about what happened have been confirmed.

"We’ll be getting the radar information, flight plan information on the aircraft," Jon Lee with the TSB told CTV News.

"We are collecting that today and will probably have an idea on the point of departure, intended arrival and of course aircraft registration."

So far, there's no indication about what might have caused the plane to crash.

The BC Coroners Service is also sending its special investigations unit to investigate the sudden deaths.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's David Molko