MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Loved ones will gather Thursday to say goodbye to one of three Minnesota National Guard members killed in a helicopter crash.

Chief Warrant Officers James Rogers Jr. and Charles Nord, and Sgt. Kort Plantenberg died when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed in central Minnesota last week.

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Plantenberg’s funeral is slated for Thursday afternoon at St. John’s Abbey Church in Collegeville. His family says they will remember the 28-year-old’s love of flying.

The helicopter crash happened on Dec. 5. The three guardsmen were on a maintenance test flight from St. Cloud when the helicopter crashed near a farm in Kimball.

A team of investigators is working to figure out what went wrong.

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Flags have been ordered to fly at half-staff Thursday in honor of Plantenberg.

Funerals for Rogers and Nord are scheduled for next week.

Deerwood Bank has partnered with the non-profit Central MN Warrior to Citizen to set up a memorial fund for the soldiers. Donations may be sent to:

“Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Memorial Fund”
Deerwood Bank
P.O. Box 337
Waite Park, MN 56387

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Donations may also be dropped off at any Deerwood Bank location.