Take a look at this photo. It looks Photoshopped, no?
It isn’t: it’s a plane landing at Princess Juliana National Airport on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. The approach to Runway 10 at the airstrip takes the plane low over Maho Beach, a famous site for planespotters. In fact, local cafes are said to cater to these thrillseekers by posting the daily timetable of takeoffs and landings
The low approach is required by the short runway. If you still don’t believe the photo, here’s a video of a Boeing 747 landing on Runway 10:
Planespotters get so close to the planes landing and taking off that this sign has been placed nearby:
Surprisingly, there’s never been an accident here: a testimony to the skill of pilots.
There’s a whole slew of scary photos of planes landing on St. Maarten. Knock yourselves out; here’s one more—another 747.
Rarely can you get this close to a landing plane. I approximated this experience when working on the island of São Tomé, as there were no fences around the airstrip and I’d sneak onto the shore by the end of the runway; but the planes came in higher. Seeing planes so close is reason enough to go to St. Maarten.
I’m sure that at least one reader has landed and taken off from this strip. Weigh in if you have.