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Airplane Landings


Most of the photos on this page are of airplanes landing at Princess Juliana International Airport which handles all international jet planes landing on St. Maarten as well as some smaller propellar driven planes. A few of the photos are of planes landing at the small airport in Grand Case, St. Martin, which only handles small propellar planes doing flights to local islands.

The plane above is landing over the beach between the Sunset Beach Bar/Restaurant and the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort. This is one of the only landing patterns in the world where planes approach the runway at approximately 40 feet over the heads of hundreds of tourists on the beach who come from around the world to take a photo of a landing plane from close up. Some of the other photos show people being blown away in the jet blast of planes about to take off. By the way, do you see the head of the swimmer in the lower right side of the photo above?

The standing surf board in one of the pictures below lists the daily schedule for flights arriving from the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, and several local islands and countries. Most of the planes listed on the board are large jets. The board lists the airline name, the airport it is arriving from and the time of arrival. Hundreds of tourists daily read the board schedule early in the day - not to find out what time their friends and family are arriving, but rather when the big jets are arriving for a photo opportunity. By the time the big jet arrives, hundreds of tourists stand elbow to elbow crowding the Sunset Beach Bar and the beach itself to get a great photo. Also, during the day, these tourist line up along the beach, road or fence to get a jet blast as the plane takes off. Although, it seems to be fun, it can be dangerous as small stones and debris get picked up and thrown at you with jet force. Warning: Recently, a women taking photos by the fence behind a jet blast from a large jet was thrown off her feet and broke her neck.

Watching the big jets land and take-off from Princess Juliana International Airport has become a famous pasttime. It is one of the few airports in the world where you can take photos of a jet plane landing within 30 feet of your head. Enjoy the photos.


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