BALTIMORE (AP) — When Capt. Sara Knutson graduated from West Point, she made it clear to her mother that she didn’t join the Army to sit behind a desk.

“She came home and said `Uhhh, I’m going to fly helicopters or be an MP,”‘ Lynn Knutson said Sunday. “I was kind of like

`Oh, couldn’t you do something safer?’ And she said `Mom, I’m in the Army, everything is dangerous.”‘

Sara Knutson, 27, of Eldersburg, Md., was among five crew members killed when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed March 11 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The military released their names late Saturday.

The crash is under investigation. Army officials have said that the crew was on a training mission using night vision goggles, and that no enemy attacks were reported.

All five soldiers were assigned to Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, Ga.

Lynn Knutson said she received an email from her daughter, a Black Hawk pilot, the night she died: “Got to go mom, got to go fly,” the email said.

Knutson said she hasn’t been told whether her daughter was piloting when the helicopter crashed. She had previously been deployed to Pakistan on a humanitarian mission, flying helicopters to help flood victims.

The 2007 West Point graduate was fun-loving and very smart. She liked to camp and snowboard in Alaska, and she enjoyed judo, singing, and putting on heels and dancing, her mother said.

“She had one of those laughs, if you heard her laugh once and you heard it again, you would know it was her,” Knutson said. “It was one of those infectious kinds of laughs.”

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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