Passion to fly

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, looks on as another flight engineer shoots the .50 caliber machine gun mounted to the ramp of a CV-22 Osprey near Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. The Osprey’s mission is to conduct long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for special operations forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, looks on as another flight engineer shoots the .50 caliber machine gun mounted to the ramp of a CV-22 Osprey near Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. The Osprey’s mission is to conduct long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for special operations forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, conducts a preflight inspection of a CV-22 Osprey on Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. The 8th SOS is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, it was organized as the 8th Aero Squadron on 21 June, 1917 at Kelly Field, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, conducts a preflight inspection of a CV-22 Osprey on Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. The 8th SOS is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, it was organized as the 8th Aero Squadron on 21 June, 1917 at Kelly Field, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, shoots a .50 caliber machine gun mounted to the ramp of a CV-22 Osprey near Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. This versatile, self-deployable aircraft offers increased speed and range over other rotary-wing aircraft, enabling Air Force Special Operations Command aircrews to execute long-range special operations missions.

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, shoots a .50 caliber machine gun mounted to the ramp of a CV-22 Osprey near Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. This versatile, self-deployable aircraft offers increased speed and range over other rotary-wing aircraft, enabling Air Force Special Operations Command aircrews to execute long-range special operations missions.

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, looks out the front windows of a CV-22 Osprey near Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. Malave was involved in an Osprey crash in June 2012, but has been recertified and cleared to perform the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, looks out the front windows of a CV-22 Osprey near Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. Malave was involved in an Osprey crash in June 2012, but has been recertified and cleared to perform the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

Airman 1st Class Kyle Koepkey, 8th Special Operations Squadron CV-22 propulsion apprentice, looks over a CV-22 Osprey during pre-flight inspections on Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. The Osprey is a multi-mission, military, tilt-rotor aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capability. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

Airman 1st Class Kyle Koepkey, 8th Special Operations Squadron CV-22 propulsion apprentice, looks over a CV-22 Osprey during pre-flight inspections on Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. The Osprey is a multi-mission, military, tilt-rotor aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capability. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

A CV-22 Osprey is parked on the flightline at Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. The CV-22 performs missions normally requiring both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

A CV-22 Osprey is parked on the flightline at Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 6, 2014. The CV-22 performs missions normally requiring both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Callaway)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- In the cockpit of a CV-22 Osprey a flight engineer fires up the engines and begins his routine pre-flight inspections.

The engines hum loudly and the tilt-rotor aircraft rocks back and forth as the propellers begin spinning. Once everyone finishes their checks, the pilots take control of the aircraft and in seconds the Osprey is above the clouds.

For several of the Osprey's crew it's just another routine training flight, but for Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave the flight holds a special meaning. This is one of his first training flights since sustaining multiple broken bones in an Osprey crash on the range at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in June 2012.

"I didn't let the injuries affect my performance," said Malave, 8th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer. "Nothing was going to hold me back from becoming qualified to do my job again."

Hospitalized for seven weeks and enduring more than four hours of surgery on his arm and legs, Malave began rehab a week after the crash in June 2012. He continued for almost a year before he started working toward flying again.

"There were people who told me I would never fly again," he said. "I just never gave up. I surrounded myself with people who helped me stay positive."

Malave said his support network was his driving force to get back in the sky. Everyone from his wife and kids to the maintainers and pilots in his shop supported him and his decision to fly again.

"You just need to stay positive and motivated," Malave said. "Anything you want to accomplish is obtainable. The biggest thing I learned during this time is just stay positive."

The squadron is proud of Malave's accomplishments and feels it would be an insult to him as a person if they treated him any differently, according to Lt. Col. Mark Newell, 8th SOS operations officer.

"Malave earned his rank, position and qualification through hard work, tenacity and skill," Newell said. "As the 8th SOS and CV-22 community continue to grow, high-caliber personnel like him and his peers are laying the groundwork for the Air Force Special Operations Commands future."