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.

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.

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

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