For some reason, Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten has been all over my radar lately. I stumbled across some YouTube videos of planes landing there (see below – it’s freakin’ amazing). Then it came up while I was watching World’s Sexiest Beach Bars (ew – I know… I was channel surfing and became mesmerized) and they mentioned the Sunset Beach Bar on Maho Bay – right at the foot of the airport’s runway. Then, this week in Ask The Pilot on Salon.com, he responded to a question about this airport and it’s “dangerous” reputation – which of course he debunked. The only thing unusual about this particular airport is it’s proximity to a lovely tropical beach – but the approach and landing are no different than any other airport.
At any rate, am I completely weird for wanting to go here? I just think it must be amazing to sit on the beach (or in the water), watching commercial jets come screaming in for a landing directly overhead all day – especially while sipping on a tropical drink. And I’ll bet I’d want to do this for more than a day… Anyway, the photos below give some sense of the awesomeness.
From Ask the Pilot: “At least one shot from the Airliners archives does seem to show a jet touching down a hair short of the threshold markings — something that is very much not supposed to happen.”
Finally, some live-action. And if you find this as fascinating as I do, just search for Princess Juliana Airport on YouTube and you’ll find plenty of other videos. Some of the best ones show what happens if you’re standing on the beach when a 747 spools up for take off…