Health & Safety

April 18, 2014

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Tags:
Airman 1st Class JAMES HENSLEY
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject of which he has written about in a book.

After a 2007 plane crash, nine days in a coma and 28 surgeries, retired Capt. David Berling, now a civilian working as a 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, understands what it means to overcome adversity.

On April 29, 2007, Berling was approximately 20 seconds from landing his private plane at Hawthorne Municipal Airport near Los Angeles when he hit a power line. The plane crashed violently into a dark vacant dirt field and flipped onto its top, bending into a twisted and mangled heap of debris. The plane’s engine was pushed into the cockpit, crushing Berling’s legs.

“When I heard what happened to my husband I was in shock,” said Melissa Berling, David’s wife. “I kept thinking to myself this wasn’t happening. I was on autopilot. I remember being told he was in an accident and that he had lost both legs. So what I did was focus on getting to him and freaking out later.”

David was already in surgery when his wife arrived at the hospital.

“I don’t remember any part of the accident,” David said. “I listened to the tapes from the crash, and I sounded pretty calm, but I just don’t remember. I don’t even remember the week before.”

David’s wife was with him throughout the recovery process.

“It was inspiring to me,” Melissa said. “He was so motivated to get back to what he loved, and it directly reflected on how I felt.”

With help from family and friends, and sheer determination, David Berling recovered from his nearly fatal accident and even wrote a book about the experience.

The book is entitled “Just Living the Dream: No Way Out but Through” and is available for purchase at amazon.com and Berling’s website at theberlingdream.com.

“The book is written from both my perspective and my family’s perspective,” David said. “It starts in the hospital immediately after my accident.”

After multiple surgeries and a double amputation, the book has given meaning to what some would view as a tragic event.

“I want people to know they are not alone when going through tragedies like mine,” he said. “I hope people can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel because there can be positive outcomes.”

Since the accident, David got the job in the 56th CONS, and his wife has a newly found appreciation for the simple things in life.
“People stress about the little everyday things in life, and that’s how I was,” Melissa said. “The accident made me realize what’s really important in life, which is my family and my marriage.”

His love of flying was not deterred by the accident, as David still flies his private Cessna for fun.

“No matter what you try in life, you will have failures,” he said. “The goal is to learn from those failures and not dwell on them. Instead, keep pressing forward.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

This week in history

Courtesy photo WASP trainees and their instructor pilot in Texas. Aug. 23, 1944: WASP arrive at Luke This week 70 years ago, four Women Airforce Service Pilots arrived at Luke Field. The WASPs helped America win World War II by...
 
 
new-dt

Exercise Exercise Exercise: Active shooter on base

The City of Goodyear, Glendale, El Mirage and Surprise fire departments, the Professional Medical Transport Ambulance Service, and the South Ambulance Service worked together with the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Services ...
 
 

Justice Report

The following is a list of administrative actions issued at Luke Air Force Base in July. 56th Maintenance Group Courts-Martial • A staff sergeant was court-martialed for wrongful use of methamphetamine, wrongful use of cocaine, and wrongful distribution of cocaine. The member received a reduction to airman basic, forfeiture of $700 pay per month for...
 

 
Stonewords-pic

Fly Over: Haus Murphy’s Authentic Bavarian food in Glendale’s historic district and ‘Stonewords: A Ghost Story’

Haus Murphy’s Authentic Bavarian food in Glendale’s historic district The West Valley landscape is dotted with fast food franchises, Mexican restaurants and Chinese super buffets, so it’s a rare treat to find a local rest...
 
 
140816-F-BI157-115

Chiseled muscles compete

Competitors take the stage Saturday in the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center 7th Annual Bodybuilding and Figure Competition. Jessie Keller, sixth from the left, won the figure tall portion, while Barbara Anderson, fifth...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Aug. 11 through 17: Tickets Security forces issues citations for 24 moving violations and two nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Aug. 13: Security forces responded to a report of a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Litchfield Road and Lightning Street. The motorcycle rider was transported by...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin