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Maho Beach vs Princess Juliana International Airport

 
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 07:53 pm
http://cdn-www.cracked.com/articleimages/dan/photoshops/airliner2.jpg

On Maho Beach in Saint Martin the airport is very close, and the runway is very short. That doesn't sound too bad till you figure out that the planes have to come in very low. Like 30 feet over you while you are on the beach.

See it to believe it:



 
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 08:49 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Yikes!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:35 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I thought coming into Arcata in the fog was a toughy.. (I heard that was built to test conditions for landing in fog..)

Assuming this is a real situation, I wonder why they don't extend the runway. Maybe something about the shape of the beach, and money to extend it.

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littlek
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:39 pm
And I thought landing at the St. George, UT airport was scary. (it's on a mesa).
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Sguairport.jpg
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:41 pm
@littlek,
Yikes.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:42 pm
@ossobuco,
I landed there in a 20-seater - yikes is right!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:44 pm
@littlek,
Hope it wasn't windy..
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:46 pm
@ossobuco,
It was a 20-seater. It doesn't matter. I remember drops and rises from air currents. I guess it's easier to level off the top of a mesa than fill in the basin between two of them.
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Eva
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:59 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I've landed at that airport in St. Martin/Maarten. And I've been on that beach when the huge Air France MD-11s came in for landings. It's quite a thrill! The exhaust from the planes throws so much sand back out into the ocean that the beach is actually smaller at night. The tide washes the sand back in.

Borat Sister
 
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Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 10:09 pm
@Eva,
Did I imagine a car stopped to let the aircraft land in the video?!!!!
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 10:16 pm
@Borat Sister,
Maybe they stopped to watch. The fence is more than 6' tall (it looks like).
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Eva
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 10:43 pm
@Borat Sister,
Quote:
Did I imagine a car stopped to let the aircraft land in the video?!!!!


Yes, it does make drivers rather nervous! Laughing

I stayed in a hotel very close to the beach & airport. From my balcony, I watched brave thrill seekers lay down, spread-eagled face up, on the beach whenever big planes approached. The planes would come in about 20 ft. above them.
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Eva
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 10:58 pm
Now, if the landing in St. Martin/Maarten doesn't get your pulse racing, you can always catch a 12-minute connecting flight to Saba. The landing there is legendary.

Saba is basically a 5 square mile rock in the middle of the ocean. Their runway is only 396 meters long (about 1,300 ft.) It may be the shortest runway anywhere. Pilots compare it to an aircraft carrier. But not only is it short, it's unforgiving. It's surrounded by high hills on one side and sea cliffs on the other three sides. Only one small inter-island commuter service flies into Saba. There is no air traffic control and no fuel available on the island, but they do keep a fire truck next to the runway. Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVdaFv6kbkw&feature=related
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 08:57 am
@Eva,
Now I want to know more about Saba!
Eva
 
  3  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 04:29 pm
@littlek,
http://www.sabatourism.com/

Saba ("SAY-buh") is really tiny, but gorgeous. Dutch history, but all 1400 residents speak English. Known for handmade lace. Spectacular hiking and scuba diving. Accommodations: only about 100 rooms available on the entire island. For the faint of heart, there's also a ferry from St. Martin/Maarten that runs about three times a week. Great choice if you're looking for a real getaway, not so good if you're looking for lots of nightlife & development.

I haven't been there...yet.

littlek
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 04:31 pm
@Eva,
I knew there had to be a boat.
Eva
 
  3  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 04:50 pm
@littlek,
http://www.sabatourism.com/sabafilm4.html

It's a quiet, friendly place. Caribbean lobsters & orchids...no beaches, though. Like I said, it's basically a big rock sticking up out of the ocean. Steep cliffs around most of the island. Watch the video, you'll see.

I've been intrigued with Saba for some time. It's on my list of places I definitely want to see.
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 04:56 pm
@Eva,
eyep, I could spend a week there. No beaches = a good thing, imo.
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 07:42 pm
@littlek,
I would miss having a beach. But if it holds down the tourism, that's a good thing.

I went to Dominica a couple of years ago. No beaches there, either. Off the beaten tourist track...very 3rd world. Loved it. Depp & crew had just finished filming "Pirates II & III" there. Saw wild parrots in the rainforest, traditional Carib dwellings (last intact groups live there), and stayed in a hotel built in an old stone fort. The island was LUSH. I've never seen that many things growing in one place. Will have to post some photos some day, if anyone's interested.
littlek
 
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Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 08:12 pm
@Eva,
I'd be interested!
 

 
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