Local Man Celebrates 100th Birthday By Skydiving
WILLIAMSTOWN, NJ (CBS) – Fred Mack truly lives his life to the fullest. On his 100th birthday, when most people would be content with a small celebration, Mack decided he would mark this major milestone by skydiving!
On Sunday, CBS 3 was at Free Fall Adventures in Williamstown, New Jersey, as Mack geared up to tandem jump, 13,000 feet from the clear blue sky.
“I’ve been waiting five years to do this,” said Mack.
The Newtown Square man says he first tried skydiving on his 95th birthday. His reason for doing it again; he promised his friends who came and supported him the first time, that he would come back for a second jump, if he lived to see 100. His cardiologist, Dr. Elliot Gerber, cleared Mack to skydive five years ago.
“I cleared him last time, this time they didn’t ask for me to sign off,” said Dr. Gerber. “Mack has been my patient for 20 years and he is in great shape. He’s an amazing man.”
An amazing man who used to fly planes in the 1930s and later worked as an engineer, who helped design P-40 fighter planes during World War II. His friends say he’s fearless and always ready to try something new.
“He was a competitive skier into his 70s and didn’t stop skiing until he reached his 90s,” said one friend.
As the 15 passenger turbine plane carrying Mack and other skydivers took off, spectators looked to the sky, prepared to watch Mack take the plunge of a lifetime. When he began to descend from the air, his friends pointed and sighed in amazement as Mack and his instructor made a flawless landing onto the open grassy field.
When asked how he felt after the event, Mack simply replied, “I’m still alive.”
His cardiologist says he contacted the Guinness Book of World Records, which is now looking into whether Mack is the oldest person to ever skydive. Mack, who doesn’t have any children, out-lived two wives. Friends say his mother and two sisters lived to be at least 90.
Reported By Jericka Duncan, CBS Philly