Did you know there is a section of beach on the paradise of island of St Marteen that is dangerous to tourists because of planes taking off at St Marteen airport?
The most famous of the St Marteen beaches is located in the Netherlands Antilles and divided into French and Dutch territories. It has stunning turquoise sea, warm water and is hot and sunny all year round. But none of these items are the main attraction of Maho Beach.
Located about 20 minutes from the port, on the Dutch side of the island, only a narrow avenue separates it from the St Marteen airport and it is the daily flights that attracts tourists to this section of the beach.
You are probably wondering why an airport is a major attraction. Well the runway has just over 2 miles of tarmac and so landing the planes at St Marteen airport is extremely tricky. Pilots have to pass about 15 feet off the ground on approach to the paradise island which means they come in over the beach really low.
People come from all over the world just to photograph the planes landing just above their heads.
Every time someone watches a plane arriving, most tourists rush out of the water in search of cameras and smartphones to record the moment planes arrive. For at least 25 years the airport has been the highlight of Maho Beach. So much so that the beach has already earned the nickname “airport beach” and most of the photos have a plane in the backround.
What most entertains tourists, however, is not the landing, but the takeoff. When the airplane turns on the turbines it causes a very strong blast of wind that can knock someone down. People love this, feeling the pressure of the plane when it is taking off.
There are numerous warning notices around but not everyone follows the recommendations. Some people climb onto the fence and try to hold on as the plane engines engage thrust for takeoff.
The last accident occurred in 2012, when a woman was blown away by the jet blast and suffered a deep cut to her forehead after she went flying into a concrete curb.
Watch the shocking video below to see the crazy incident at St Marteen airport.
Would you be crazy enough to do something like this?
The airport only has one runway which is classified as runway 10 but despite only having the one strip St Marteen airport receives around 2 million passengers a year and about 60,000 aircraft movements. Because of the amazing views of planes at Maho Beach it has become one of the most favorite places among plane spotters.
You can call the island either St Martin (French) or St Maarten (Dutch), the airport is actually called Princess Juliana International Airport but most people refer to it as St Marteen airport. it was originally opened back during World War 2 to help the war effort but has since been turned around into a tourist hotspot.
The length of the runway is just 2180 meters long, which is normally fine for any small or medium sized planes, but being the second busiest airport in the Caribbean, this airport regularly receives large jetliners like the Boeing 747 and Airbus A340s. These giant planes have to approach super low over Maho Beach and skim just over the perimeter fence in order to make a safe landing. This has made St Marteen airport one of the most dangerous in the world but also one of the most magnificent places to witness planes take off and land.
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Article Source; Daily News Dig