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David
Berling

Just Living the Dream

Welcome to TheBerlingDream.com

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Whether you're just learning about my story or checking in on all our adventures, we're glad you're here. 

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"How'd you lose your legs?"

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 into a Los Angeles, California, area airport.  Approximately twenty seconds before landing, 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, causing the plane's engine to be pushed into the cockpit, and 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 first responders, 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.

Before and after pics of our Beechcraft Bonanza Turbo (B36TC)

Before and after pics of our Beechcraft Bonanza Turbo (B36TC)

CBS New coverage from April 29, 2007

Site Content

About Me

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Read more about my life and that of my co-authors: 

My wife Missy, and my father Kim

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News

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Find out my latest news and race results!

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Buy our book!

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Purchase a copy of our book, Just Living the Dream: No Way Out But Through

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Public Speaking

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

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Photo Gallery

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Photos of my recovery, races, and more!

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Book Forewords

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Read Just Living the Dream book forewords by Chaplain Warren Watties and Dr. Scott Helmers

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the berling dream