Minnesota National Guard soldier killed in helicopter crash laid to rest

Sgt. Kort Plantenberg was among the three soldiers killed in the helicopter crash on December 5, 2019. (FOX 9)

Family, friends, and even strangers said goodbye Thursday to Sergeant Kort Plantenberg, one of three National Guard members killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash last week.

The funeral for 28-year-old Kort Plantenberg drew about a thousand mourners into the St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville.

Plantenberg, a warrant officer candidate in the Minnesota National Guard, was remembered as an outdoorsman and biathlete as well as a loving son, brother, and friend.

Fire trucks hung a massive flag overhead as military members, law enforcement members, and emergency workers joined other mourners at Thursday's ceremony.

A flag hangs from fire trucks outside Sgt. Plantenberg's funeral. (FOX 9)

Plantenberg joined the guard in 2016 as an aircraft electrician. He was set to start the warrant officer program in March with flight school to follow. We're told he had a passion for helicopters from a young age.

Plantenberg was killed December 5 when the Black Hawk he was in, flying a mechanical test flight out of St. Cloud, went down about ten minutes after they took off.

Sgt. Plantenberg's casket is carried from St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville to a rifle volley salute. (FOX 9)

Plantenberg was obsessed with helicopters from an early age, according to his obituary. A flyover from two Black Hawks came courtesy of a unit out of Iowa and was timed perfectly for the end of the service.

First responders joined Sgt. Plantenberg's friends and family at the ceremony. (FOX 9)

The funeral for 28-year-old Chief Warrant Officer James Rogers Jr. will be Sunday in Howard Lake. Services for 30-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Charles Nord, the pilot, will be Monday in Perham.