SELMA PARK, B.C. - The pilot of a small plane has been killed, but his three passengers were able to walk away after a crash near the Sechelt airport in British Columbia on Thursday.

Sechelt fire Chief Trevor Pike says the plane came down in heavy brush and forest just minutes after taking off from the airport.

Pike says the three passengers were able to get out of the fuselage and made their way to the local hospital even before emergency crews even arrived on scene.

The chief says officials don't believe anyone saw the single-engine Cherokee Piper 140 come down, but several people heard the crash.

Pike says a search was launched after the crash was heard, and a helicopter crew spotted the wreckage shortly afterwards.

Sechelt is northwest of Vancouver on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast.