David Berling​

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CBS TV coverage from the night of the plane crash in Los Angeles, California.

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On the night of April 29, 2007, while an active duty Air Force Captain, I was flying my private plane on an instrument approach in full fog, approximately twenty seconds from landing at a Los Angeles, California area airport, when I hit a power line and violently crashed into a dark vacant dirt field.  The plane flipped onto its top, bending into a twisted and mangled heap of debris, and causing the plane’s engine to be pushed into the cockpit, crushing my legs. Within minutes, emergency rescue personnel arrived to find me hanging upside down strapped into my seat, a position that ultimately saved my life and prevented me from bleeding out through my leg wounds. To the shock of the rescue personnel, I was alive, conscious, and responsive. The team stabilized me and prayed for the best when the ambulance rushed me away to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Ultimately, I suffered multiple injuries requiring two above-knee amputations, 28 surgeries, and a hospital stay of over two months.  As a military service member, I was transferred to the Naval Medical Center San Diego for the majority of my treatment and recovery.  I retired from the Air Force in 2009 and have been Just Living the Dream ever since!


Photos of my recovery and more!

I'd be honored to speak with your business, school, or organization on a variety of topics.

Book Forewords

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