BY LISA PERKINS
David Ferrazza's first jump from an airplane, more than 50 years ago, came in service to his country.
Now, Ferrazza, 70, jumps because he loves it.
"You don't stop jumping because you get old. You get old because you stop jumping," said Ferrazza, of Interlochen, who served in the Air Force Special Ops, Airborne Division in the early 1960s.
Ferrazza especially enjoys skydiving with Jumpers Over Seventy, a club made up mostly of former military buddies that meets once a year.
The group met last month in Eloy, Ariz., where 15 members attempted a stable snowflake formation jump.
"We started on a Monday with five attempts to get to know each other again, how we each fly. Things change as you get older," said Ferrazza.
The jump went exactly as planned, and the formation was accomplished. But first, jumpers spent countless hours "dirt diving," practicing the intricate formation on the ground. They also made 15 attempts over three days.
"It came down to the last day, the last jump, the last minute of daylight," Ferrazza said.
The 15-person configuration was a new group record.
"We have to hold the grip for eight seconds, then we all nod our heads, smile, stick out our tongues to show we've got it — then get out of Dodge and fly as far away as possible," he said.
Ferrazza credits skydiving with keeping him feeling young.
"It is all about staying active, getting out and doing something," he said.
His daughter said he has always been adventurous.
"Whether it was dirt biking, boating, fast cars or especially skydiving, he has always loved being active," said Kelly Wysocki, of Oakland Township. "I'm not sure I thought he would still be diving at 70, but I'm proud of him."
Ferrazza has no plans to give up the sport he loves.
"I've never done drugs, but I think the adrenaline rush you get from diving must be like that. It's addictive," he said.