A plane carrying a family on a sightseeing trip crashed north of Anchorage, killing all four people aboard.

The single-engine Cessna 170 crashed Friday night near the Parks Highway north of Willow. The plane had been returning to Anchorage, about 50 miles southeast of the crash site, after a stop in Talkeetna, about 40 miles north, Alaska state troopers said.

Steven Linkhart, a Matanuska-Susitna Borough fire chief who responded to the crash, said the plane was mangled, with the tail broken off and one of the wings and the passenger cabin crushed.

"It was a very hard impact," he told the Anchorage Daily News.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. A National Transportation Safety Board investigator and a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration were on the scene Saturday.

The dead were identified as Curtiss Blake, 64, of Anchorage; his wife, Sigrid Blake, 58; their daughter, Christina Blake, 28, of Girdwood; and her boyfriend, Robert Toney, 36, who was the pilot.

The Blakes' daughter Jennie Blake said her parents and sister frequently traveled to Talkeetna to visit galleries and go sightseeing.

Curtiss Blake, a music teacher, and Sigrid Blake, a kindergarten teacher, were retired from the Anchorage School District, family members and friends said. Christina Blake worked as an engineer.