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Photo of PH-BUT Boeing 747-206B(M)(SUD) by Albert Addante Expand image
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KLM 747 arrives just clearing the SXM airport fence, every yard used to its advantage to slow this puppy down. See photo 392 for approach shot.

Comments (22)
Posted by VERY NICE on January 31, 2007

Great pic Sir Addante, I'm from St. Maarten and I am very pleased to see that picture. It is an out-of-this-world experience to be under those planes when they are landing. There is even more excitement when they are taking off!! To all of you that have never been to St. Maarten, I say to you, "once you come, you'll know." It's unlike the rest Caribbean islands, because it is the best!! 37 square miles of tranquility, beauty and amusement!!

Posted by Rich - a Pilot on August 14, 2006

They have to land like that because the runway is very short for a 747. The runway more than likely has a PAPI (precision approach path indicator) or equiv. I'm sure the pilots were very aware that they were right over the fence. These guys might even use a motion simulator to shoot this approach before flying it for real.

Posted by ecored65 on May 07, 2006

There is a sign there that says "warning low arriving and departing aircraft, blast can cause physical injury" =)

Posted by RohanB on October 03, 2005

I would love to go there...great pic!!! -RohanB

Posted by Paul Riordan on August 21, 2005

Ulf, Although this is like over a year late, No, there is no ILS approach at St Maarten to my knowledge.

Posted by Sam Kitching on June 17, 2004


Posted by Andre Kellner on February 26, 2004

WOW! That looks great..hmmm..there really is a dent on top of the fence, anyone has some info on that?

Posted by David Sullivan on February 12, 2004

In golf terms this shot would result in at least a birdie if not an eagle (take your pick on that one)! Maybe even a hole-in-one if you really stretch it! It's just amazing how something that large can look both intimidating (for those who are faint-hearted) and beautiful at the same time! I myself tend to look more at the beauty aspect of a 747 upclose! Great shot, keep it up, and happy flying!

Posted by Sandra on January 30, 2004

"Posted by Richard Hayes on April 7, 2003 Notice the dent on the top of the fence.... " Maybe now you know why Airfrance is called airFENCE. The noice isn't that bad when it arrives, only when it leaves!!

Posted by Nate Hesse on January 10, 2004

Gotta be the coolest airport in the world, hands down.

Posted by Ulf Svensson on January 03, 2004

Well, think those pilots need a few more hours in the simulator... But just some questions: anyone who knows if there are any ILS installed in TNCM, and how long that runway is? And those people who stands just below the glidepath didn't they got damage to their ears....

Posted by Daddler on December 22, 2003

They should put a "mind your head" sign there!

Posted by Rutger Leunen on August 11, 2003

It's very dangerous to land there, no? You can just trow things in the engines... But it's a great picture! Congrats! Regards, Rutger

Posted by Bronwyn on May 15, 2003

Puts a whole new perspective on sunbathing, doesnt it :-)

Posted by Richard Hayes on April 07, 2003

Notice the dent on the top of the fence....

Posted by jonathan on April 01, 2003

WOW the best ever !!!

Posted by Senga Butts on March 14, 2003

I'm sure if the pilots who flew this approach saw this shot they would retire and look for another line of work! :)

Posted by Nicki Mks on March 10, 2003

Incredible picture! The plane's pilots should see this, maybe even they didn't know they got THAT close...

Posted by Gary R. Tinnes on January 27, 2003

This picture deserves an award! I have never seen such an awesome picture in my life! All the honour to you!

Posted by Daryl Chapman - The Hong Kong Spotters on January 27, 2003

How low van you go ? :-)

Posted by Chris Kilroy on January 17, 2003


747s used to arrive in St. Maarten daily. Air France's 747-200 flight from Paris is now operated by an A340, however, so the only 747 action at Juliana is KLM's weekly (Thursday) 747-200SUD service from Amsterdam, and Corsair's 3-4x weekly 747-200/300 from Paris/Orly. Other 'heavy' service includes Air Europe's 2x weekly 767-300/777-200 flight from Milan/Malpensa, and AA's daily 767-300 service from JFK.

I was surprised upon visiting St. Maarten for the first time in April, 2000 that the beach wasn't more restricted as well. But upon visiting for a week in July, 2001, I came to realize just how many people visit St. Maarten for the express purpose of watching planes at Maho Beach. This, combined with the general relaxed attitude in the Caribbean, indicates to me that the beach will remain as it is for some time to come.

Posted by Glenn Stewart on January 14, 2003

Excellent shot Albert. How often do the 747's land at St. Maarten? And how many of them get that close to the Rwy threshold? One would think that, that part of the beach would be restricted given public liability insurance costs these days.

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