A Plane-Spotter’s Paradise

Some people like to go to the beach for the peace, quiet and relaxation.

Not plane spotters, though. Oh no.

They go to the beach for high-adrenaline excitement and dramatic photo opportunities!

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This picture was taken at Maho Beach in St. Martin which is known around the world as a plane-spotting paradise.

What makes this beach so unique is that runway 10 of the Princess Juliana International Airport backs up to the edge of the beach with nothing more than a road and a fence separating the two. What makes it even more unique is that runway 10 is extraordinarily short – barely over 7,000 feet – which means that when the planes come in to land, they have to fly so low that they are no more than 100 feet above sunbathers’ heads!

This of course creates an incredible experience unlike any other, not to mention some pretty amazing photographs. However, it is not without danger! People used to cling to the fence at the edge of the runway to experience the jet blast of planes taking off, but in 2012 a girl was injured when the power from the jet blast flung her against the concrete edge of the road. The government has since erected another fence to prevent people from such activities, and has also put up signs warning that the jet blast can result in injury or death.

It’s important to be careful, but if you are a plane spotter, seek adventure, or just love unique photo opportunities, this is without a doubt the place to be.

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