Most of us are familiar with the statistics regarding the safety of flying. The annual risk of being killed in a plane crash for the average American is about one in 11 million. Compared to the annual risk of being killed in a motor vehicle crash for the average American, which is about one in 5,000, flying seems far safer.
Dave Moore has beaten the odds. Most of us would feel lucky to escape a plane crash with our lives intact — Dave has survived four.
As a teenager, Dave’s dream was to become a professional pilot. He worked hard for his passion and engulfed his life in everything aviation, eventually becoming a Coast Guard Search and Rescue Pilot and an Air Force combat pilot.
At 23, Dave experienced the first plane crash that nearly took his life. He became terrified of flying an aircraft, or even boarding a commercial airliner without becoming intoxicated. Stifled by fear, Dave decided his aviation career was over.
Years after Dave taking an outside sales job, he revisited his passion for aviation. He knew it was time to face his fear, and developed a personal system that allowed him to overcome this obstacle.
Today, Dave works as a motivational speaker, inspiring change one step at a time. He shares with his audience how he overcame the most significant crashes life has thrown at him and converted setbacks into inner personal strength by combating obstacles.
Sharing the Crashes of Life
Dave is eager to share the difficulties of his journey because of the realization of how paper-thin the margins are for each decision we make in life. “Looking back, had I been too afraid to get back into the fight,” he explains. “I would have missed out on some great adventures that created personal and professional success and growth. I need to remind people we are fighters, and the crashes of life will come daily. These crashes are not always life or death. They can be big or small, physical or mental. I need to remind others how we only have two options in life: to lie in our self-pity and wallow in the misery, or find a way to fight back and discover the personal and professional success we yearn for in life.”
Dave says that having faced death at such a young age has brought a new realization to life, valuing and appreciating each moment.
“Though I faced positive and negative circumstances, I was strengthened and empowered to fight and became stronger each time I faced a new unforeseen challenge. Eventually, I came to terms with my mortality and realized I wanted the most out of life for myself, and those I surrounded myself with. This is when real growth begins, in finding the courage to combat fears that seem insurmountable until we find that first step.”
The First Step
Dave faced post-traumatic stress at a young age and discovered that there were growth opportunities in pain. “People with trauma must tell themselves, no matter how hopeless they are feeling or how stuck they seem, no matter how unfair or what circumstances brought it about, it is an opportunity for growth. These life events we are given, no matter how large or small, are a part of strengthening ourselves to make us ‘uncrashable’ — somebody who can handle all that life brings their way.”
According to Dave, true growth begins when you recommit to yourself, identify the problem you’re facing (and the root cause of it), realize that strength and courage grows when you take steps to combat the issue, and are able to rise to the challenge to tackle it head-on.
While Dave was trying to get back to flying, he had to learn to recreate himself and the way he thought. He recommitted to his passion by first identifying the problem.
“For example, I was so focused on getting back into the cockpit, a career I knew could catapult my life from being mediocre to making a decent living. I was willing to do whatever it took. This was all taken away from me, seemingly.” This is when Dave discovered the real problem. “I was not afraid of flying; I was afraid of dying. Truly understanding the issue is the only way to start working towards viable solutions.”
How does Dave’s message apply to those who haven’t experienced great trauma?
“Everyone faces trauma in their lives,” Dave says. “Trauma doesn’t mean life or death. I have been beaten down, overlooked, lost a child, through a nasty divorce, and unfairly persecuted at times like everyone else.”
Dave’s message is not about airplanes or the military. It’s about facing the day-to-day setbacks, obstacles, and challenges we all encounter.
“A child learning to walk or run will fall and need to pick themselves up. Not to oversimplify, but as we grow older, our lives get more complicated, and we need to combat these setbacks with tools that work.”
Finding the strength to get back on the plane
Dave mentions that the strength he needed came time and time again because aviation was his passion. “The strength didn’t come easy, and at times I just wanted to give up as I found I was good at sales,” he states, “but a part of me knew that if I let this battle be lost, it would be easier and easier to lose each battle in life, until, eventually, you’re afraid to cross the street.”
For example, as devastating as it is to experience an airplane crash, Dave learned that his recovering time lessened after each crash.
Dave’s Crash-Recovery Timeline
After Daves’ first crash, it took him two years to get back in the cockpit. He admits to struggling with a lot of “what ifs.” After his second crash, Dave spent two weeks digesting what happened, and how helpless we are when circumstances are out of our control.
Dave says that, for his third crash, the recovery time was much less. “In two days, I flew the airplane out after a night of heavy drinking after roughly a decade of not drinking, and only a day to digest, work with the FAA, and then flew the next day.”
Following his fourth crash, the recovery time was even less. “Two seconds,” he remarks. “After the plane came to a stop and we exited the airplane, I realized there was no fire, and the plane was about as good as it could be for the nose wheel coming off. I immediately asked the other guy with me for a picture by the plane, busted out with laughter, and said there is no way this is even real.”
What’s next for Dave Moore?
Dave’s passion is motivating people through “Moore Motivated” events and delivering his two favorite keynotes, “Wake Up and Win: Take Your Life Off Autopilot” and “Wake Up and Win: Be the Change.” Dave is currently reworking his original book, Wake Up and Win: Three Time Crash Victim’s Journey from Surviving to Thriving.
Outside of “Moore Motivated,” Dave is involved in a few business ventures, and he has made his dreams of winning a major poker tournament a priority in his life. “I recently placed 9th in the WPT Poker Championship out of 2,010 starting players. I plan to win some major events in this world series in Las Vegas. Maybe I’ll even run for President someday.”
Surviving and Thriving
“We all face daily physical, mental, emotional, professional, and personal battles. I can show people a way to help themselves commit to leading their own lives, one battle at a time, and how to work towards living their best life.”
Dave says that if you are looking for some buzzwords from the internet, and think that you’ll experience progress, it doesn’t work that way. It is up to each individual to control their own growth.
“My mission is to help people skip the two decades of learning and development. There is so much more to the Dave Moore story than crashing a bunch of planes.”
Dave Moore, is a Navy and Air Force decorated aviator, office and the founder of Moore Motivated. He survived four plane crashes, flew through three hurricanes while performing search and rescue with the Coast Guard, and has logged 39 combat missions in the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.