Plane Spotting of The Day
Amazing video shows pilot’s view as plane swoops in to land just metres above tourists’ heads at tiny Caribbean airport
Swooping in over a packed beach sometimes just 10 metres above the heads of holidaymakers, it’s easy to see why Princess Juliana Airport on the Caribbean island of St Maarten is one of the least loved destinations for pilots.
Despite being the second-busiest airport in the Eastern Caribbean the runway at Princess Juliana is just 7,152 feet – less than half the length of many international airports.
However with the island being such a popular tourist destination, the airport regularly sees landings of some of the largest passenger jets including the mighty Boeing 747-400.
To make things even more tricky for pilots, a large bank of hills at one end of the runway means aircraft must circle round and come in to land from the sea which takes them over Maho Beach just a stone’s throw from the runway and often packed with throngs of holidaymakers.
While some holidaymakers like to stand and snap the planes flying overhead, thrillseekers have also been known to hold on to the fence of the airport when a jet is getting ready to take off so they are blasted when the engine kick in, lifting them off the ground.
Now Dutch airline KLM has released a short film of a 747 flight from Amsterdam to Saint Maarten including rare footage of the aircraft coming in to land taken from inside the cockpit.