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.


 
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handed the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base July 13 through 19: Tickets Security forces issued citations for four moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents July 14: Security forces responded to a report of a minor two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Thunderbird and Kachina streets. There were...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
LAUSANNE KINDER

944th ASTS Airmen saves child

Staff Sgt.LAUSANNE KINDER Tech. Sgt. Jude Joseph, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical technician and eight-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, poses in front of the 944th ASTS building July 8. Joseph was the f...
 
 

Justice Report

The following is a list of administrative actions issued at Luke Air Force Base in June. 56th Maintenance Group Articles 15 • A master sergeant received nonjudicial punishment for wrongful use of marijuana. The member received a reduction to technical sergeant, forfeiture of $1,813 pay per month for two months and a reprimand. • A...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base July 6 through 12: Tickets Security forces issued citations for three moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents July 6: Security forces responded to a report of a minor vehicle accident involving a government-owned vehicle and a fixed object at...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

Always take children, pets, elderly when leaving vehicle

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY During the summer, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach in excess of 140 degrees and can be extremely hazardous to a child, pet or elderly person left in a vehicle even for a few minutes. The thoug...
 
 

Hack attacked? Aaack!

You fiercely protect your online identity — regularly change and safeguard your passwords, upgrade your security scan to keep your antivirus software and firewall secure, monitor your credit rating and your bank statement. However, your information still exists online, and it can be vulnerable even when safety measures are in place. Unfortunately, the vulnerability led...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>