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Princess Juliana Airport - Unique In The World?  
User currently offlineReggaebird From Jamaica, joined Nov 1999, 1176 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8119 times:

I just visited St. Maarten and it's Princess Juliana Airport for the first time. I was, of course, impressed and amazed. It is truly a nirvana for aviation enthusiasts! Samples here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr5uLCmXJ4M - Spotters being blasted by an MD-80

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdwK-XkBpYg - Flight crews waving at spotters on the beach

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69lHgaw686Y - Air France landing

Are there any other airports in the world that can offer similar spotters' experiences? If so, I'll be planning my next trip right away.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2891 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8047 times:

Quoting Reggaebird (Thread starter):
Are there any other airports in the world that can offer similar spotters' experiences? If so, I'll be planning my next trip right away.

Try almost any other of the islands around SXM. I had to do a multi-island tour last fall for work and took Liat to get to the airports I had to work in. I started in Barbados, went to St. Maarten via Dominica, Antigua and St. Kitts. Then St. Maarten to St. Lucia via Antigua and Dominica. Many of the airports on these islands have similar set-ups. Some big jungle-covered mountain on one side of the runway, and either the water or a cliff on the other LOL! I give those pilots a lot of credit for making those appoaches!

Some islands can only handle small aircraft (twin otters, DASH-8's, caravans). Others do have large aircraft such as BGI and UVF which have wide-body aircraft from Europe (VS B744 and BA B777 were ones that I saw).



"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineReggaebird From Jamaica, joined Nov 1999, 1176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7809 times:

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 1):
Try almost any other of the islands around SXM.

Yes, but can I see all of this while having a drink at a bar?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N0XEPqb-Hk


User currently offlineGBRandSYCguy From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2011, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7696 times:

On the other side of the world in the Indian ocean, Seychelles International Airport SEZ / FSIA has a beach at the end of RWY 13 and start of RWY 31. If access was not restricted it will surely be as spectacular as SXM. But unfortunately access is STRICTLY restricted and not help by the fact that there's a police academy on one side and an army base on the other, the beach is easily twice as wide and long as the one at SXB and include an island that was joined the the airport at the time of construction.

User currently offlineReggaebird From Jamaica, joined Nov 1999, 1176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7039 times:

Quoting GBRandSYCguy (Reply 3):
But unfortunately access is STRICTLY restricted and not help by the fact that there's a police academy on one side and an army base on the other, the beach is easily twice as wide and long as the one at SXB and include an island that was joined the the airport at the time of construction.

So the experience is not at all like SXM. Sounds like it would have been nice though!!!!!


User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1691 posts, RR: 31
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6759 times:

In Asia, Kuala Terrenganu/Malaysia and Phuket/Thailand have similar approaches over the beach, although no bars/restaurant in the vicinity...


don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlinejrodATC From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6480 times:

I know I'll be called crazy but I'm dying to visit SXM to stand behind a spooling 747. I saw it featured on the Travel Channel and they said that authorities will continue to allow people to congregate in front of runway 10 until someone is seriously hurt.

User currently offlineReggaebird From Jamaica, joined Nov 1999, 1176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6463 times:

Quoting jrodATC (Reply 6):
I know I'll be called crazy but I'm dying to visit SXM to stand behind a spooling 747.

LOL!! I know what you mean. I longed to do it and finally got the chance to fulfill the dream on Sunday, March 6, 2011. I stood behind a departing KLM 747-400 at takeoff power. I wear the nicks and bruises on my face and arms as a badge of honor. Still waiting for friends to upload videos of my "ride" though.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6417 times:

Quoting Reggaebird (Reply 7):
I wear the nicks and bruises on my face and arms as a badge of honor. Still waiting for friends to upload videos of my "ride" though.



Welcome to the SXM sandblasting!!   

Every time I am at beach bar it amazes me the number of people who want to get blasted with the sand and other junk that comes flying across the road and beach. Simply wild to watch and makes it difficult to keep count of the sodas one has consumed...as if I care.  



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineFatmirJusufi From Albania, joined Jan 2009, 2441 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6291 times:

Lovely videos, I really enjoyed all of them. What kind of camera did you use?


DO FLIGHTS. NOT FIGHTS.
User currently offlinejrodATC From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6168 times:

That's awesome. Did you wear any protective gear? I plan on at least wearing a pair of goggles when I get the chance to do this. Congrats on fulfilling the dream, certainly cool and definitely on my bucket list of crazy things to do.

[Edited 2011-03-09 07:33:57]

[Edited 2011-03-09 07:34:15]

User currently offlinenormie999 From United Kingdom, joined May 2009, 149 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5973 times:

I'm surprised no one has mentioned ACE yet. You certainly can get sandblasted there, though you have to bring your own beer.

User currently offlineReggaebird From Jamaica, joined Nov 1999, 1176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5768 times:

Quoting jrodATC (Reply 10):
Did you wear any protective gear?

No protective gear but did wear sunglasses. FYI, I was still finding sand in my beard as late as yesterday.  


User currently offlineReggaebird From Jamaica, joined Nov 1999, 1176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5768 times:

Quoting normie999 (Reply 11):
I'm surprised no one has mentioned ACE yet

Never heard of any goings-on there. Please describe.


User currently offlineairjamaica From Jamaica, joined Aug 2006, 2530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5585 times:

Quoting Reggaebird (Thread starter):
I just visited St. Maarten and it's Princess Juliana Airport for the first time. I was, of course, impressed and amazed. It is truly a nirvana for aviation enthusiasts! Samples here:

Very impressive video clips. Guess being so close to all the action is an attraction in St. Maarten within itself. Planning to visit there one day as well.



greenheart
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