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Maho Beach in St. Maarten is nice (and loud)

December 18, 2009

Princess Juliana airport on the island of St. Maarten is the third busiest airport in the Caribbean.  It also has one of the most interesting and seemingly dangerous takeoff and landing sequences in the world.  The planes pass just over the heads of people on the beach.

Probably not in their brochure advertising a relaxing, tropical vacation


It is a big tourist spot.  And the signs are no joke.

Maho beach is open to the public.  It seems like a normal beach, except for the fact the landing planes do 20 foot flyovers.  This would be awesome (and a little scary) to see in person.  It almost amazes me that they keep the beach open to the public.  One of these days, someone is going to get a wheel in the face.

That may be neat, but make sure your off that beach when the plane prepares for takeoff.  (Starts about the 1:00 mark) 

The takeoffs are just as dangerous as the landings, as pilots have to veer to avoid some mountains off the end of the runway.  I guess even if you only have so much land, you still have to put an airport someplace.

And now the pilot’s point of view.

So if you ever go to St. Maarten, be sure to wave to the beachgoers when you land.  You should be close enough to see the whites of their eyes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 18, 2009 1:21 pm

    sweet…my buddy lives on St. Thomas; I ‘ll check and see if he’s ever experienced that phenom!

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