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AT
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Long Haul Flights From SXM

Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:41 pm

So I finally made it to the holy grail of spotting- St Maarten. It was really a fantastic experience.

But what really surprised me is how effortlessly the 747s (Corsair, KLM) and A330 (Caribes) and 340 (Air France) seemed to be able to take off. The 747s in particular took off using barely half the runway-- and this was at temperatures of 90 plus. How do they do it? Are these flights weight-restricted? Do they make other stops en route home to Europe?


As an aside is there really such a high demand to St Maarten from the Netherlands to warrant sending a 747? The day I left to come home the KLM 747 was boarding next to us and it did not seem that there were more than 100 passengers.... May be an A330 would be more appropriate?
 
danvs
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RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:08 pm

KL flies SXM-CUR-AMS and SXM-BON-AMS.
AF flies direct to Paris.
Air Caraibes flies SXM-PAP-ORY (AFAIK).
Corsair flies SXM-PUJ-ORY (AFAIK).

Rgs,
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:44 pm

Quoting AT (Thread starter):
How do they do it?

The fact that the airport is only a foot or two above sea level helps performance drastically, so even at hot temperatures the density altitude will rarely go over 3000ft.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:21 pm

The runways isn't really THAT short. It's just that the lack of runoff on the beach side makes it seem very short. One of the main limitations for take-off is clearing the mountain ridge.

Regarding loads St. Maarten sees over a million visitors a year. That's about 2250 pax/day, both ways. So no problem filling them planes! Honestly 1 million a year sounds low. Even Koh Samui gets a mill a year.

[Edited 2010-07-14 16:51:55]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Viscount724
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RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:38 am

Quoting AT (Thread starter):
The day I left to come home the KLM 747 was boarding next to us and it did not seem that there were more than 100 passengers.... May be an A330 would be more appropriate?

Remember that KL flights operate a triangular routing AMS-SXM-CUR-AMS (744) or AMS-SXM-BON-AMS (MD-11), so on the day you saw 100 passengers boarding the flight at SXM there might have been 200 or 300 already on the aircraft who were going all the way from AMS to CUR.
 
Inbound
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RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:55 am

we use full power for our take-offs at SXM on the 737, caribbean airlines, instead of derated.

I assume the other airlines do the same as well, hence the shorter take off roll.
Maintain own separation with terrain!
 
AT
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RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:25 pm

Thanks for all your replies. That explains why the Klm flight had lighter loads plus such a short take off roll.
But since the Air France 340 is going direct to Paris, is is weight restricted?

Also, if clearing the mountain ridge is an issue for take offs, why don't they take off in the opposite direction (runway 27?)
Or do the winds prohibit that?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:15 pm

Winds as you say. Also winds do decrease runway length in the correct direction.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
AT
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:25 pm

I did see one Delta 737 take off in the opposite direction (27). May be the winds were low at that time.
 
A342
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RE: Long Haul Flights From SXM

Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:38 pm

Quoting AT (Reply 6):
But since the Air France 340 is going direct to Paris, is is weight restricted?

In the sense that it cannot take off at MTOW, yes. However, since the route to Paris is relatively short for an A340, it does not necessarily translate into payload penalties.
Exceptions confirm the rule.

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