Boeing 747 Landing Princess Juliana International Airport
One of the best places in the world to watch planes land is on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean. St. Martin is a 35 square mile area island with mountains in the center and beautiful white sand beaches at the water’s edge. The northern half of the island is owned by France and called Saint Martin. The south side is part of the kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch call it Sint Maarten. This beautiful island is served by Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on the Dutch side. Princess Juliana is without a doubt the best place in the world to watch airplanes land and the best place to set up for fantastic pictures of the world’s largest airliners landing is the sunset Beach Bar and Grill on Maho Beach.
American airlines Boeing 757 Landing St Martin
Boeing 747’s and the Airbus 380 cross Maho Beach at approximately 50 feet over sunbathers and swimmers for some fantastic aviation photo opportunities. The landing runway, runway 10, is only 7,150 feet long and the touchdown area is only a short distance from the ocean waves. On the departure end of the runway is Pic Paradis, a 1,390 feet high mountain that departing aircraft must avoid with a sharp right turn after takeoff. Water on one end and mountains on the other end of this short runway is what places Princess Juliana airport on the list of the world’s most dangerous or extreme airports. Pictures and video from this spot often surprise viewers with how close people are to these flying behemoths crossing the beach. These pictures are recognizable across the world. The other shocking images are of tourist and sunbathers hanging on the airport fence just behind departing jets as pilots hold the brakes and throttle up the engines for the short run down the runway. Tourists hold on for dear life while being pounded by hot blast from jet engines. With the larger airliners this can or will lift them off the ground as they cling to the fence. Unfortunately this can be a very dangerous sport. A few misfortunate fence riders have been severely injured by jet blast. If you make it to St. Martin make sure you spend some time on Maho Beach and don’t forget your camera.
Plane spotting on Maho Beach at St Maarten also known as St Martin. This beautiful island is home to one of the best places in the world for plane spotting, Princess Juliana International Airport. Most of these pictures were taken from the Sunset Beach Bar. The bar has a large surfboard planted in the sand which is used to post the arrival times for the 747’s and other large airliners arriving that day. The road between the beach and the runway is sunken about two feet but even so, locals using the road check for landing aircraft before crossing. tourist can often be seen clinging to the fence enduring the jet blast from departing aircraft. It makes for a nice experience, have a beer and wait for the next photo opportunity.
Princess Juliana International Airport is on the Dutch side of Saint Martin. Also known as Saint Maarten, this Caribbean island is owned by France on one side and the Netherlands on the other. Landing aircraft normally land on runway 10 and departing aircraft use the same runway. On short final landing aircraft cross Maho Beach. This small strip of sand is known worldwide by plane spotters for its spectacular views of landing Boeing 747’s. Landing airliners pass just over the heads of sun bathers before touching down. Departing aircraft make an immediate right turn between the mountains in order to avoid rising terrain. St Martin often makes top 10 lists of most dangerous airports in the world.