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-   -   Oh No! Its St Maarten time again (https://www.pprune.org/spectators-balcony-spotters-corner/235610-oh-no-its-st-maarten-time-again.html)

BOAC 10th Dec 2002 19:48

Oh No! Its St Maarten time again
This is where all those sandblasting pictures live.

WhoNeedsEngines 6th Feb 2005 13:16

Oh No! Its St Maarten time again
Any of you professional pilots got any comments about this photograph, taken on the beach on the approach to Princess Juliana Airport of Saint Maarten in the Carribean? Looks a bit adjacent to me.

Apologies for the rather poor quality of the photo - it was scanned in from a page torn from a magazine.

The Greaser 6th Feb 2005 13:25

Not sure a windbreaker would be much good on that beach! Seriously though, nowadays you can make really convincing fakes, keep working on it.

cortilla 6th Feb 2005 13:36

I don't think it's a fake actually. seen many piccies of st maarten and they all land pretty low over the beach. just look on some websites that post piccies and look for st maarten, and you'll se many of them.

Otterman 6th Feb 2005 13:40

True a guy with photoshop and too much spare time can do amazing things. This picture is of an approach into St. Maarten. Having flown into there at least a couple of times a year for the last fifteen, on a Boeing 747-300, it is an approach that lends itself to sneaking in a bit lower than normal. The runway is a shade over 2000 meters long. The approach is a VORD which gives good guidance, but the last bit is of course visual. The fence has been knocked down at the beginning of the runway on two occasions the last ten years. There are some amazing videos on the internet of widebodies leaving from there and blowing some of the locals into the sea, who were trying to hang onto the fence for fun. I am sure you can find them in other threads just search St. Maarten. Regards O.

wasdale 6th Feb 2005 13:51

Not necessarily a fake. It is quite easy to get such an effect simply by using a telephoto lens.

surely not 6th Feb 2005 13:54

it's real............

PPRuNe Radar 6th Feb 2005 13:55

Already been covered ad nauseum on PPRuNe. Another 'recent' discussion in the latter part of this thread.

St Maarten

Or have a look at the bar from where you can take such pics, they have a few photos in their gallery ;)

Sunset Beach Bar

c130jbloke 11th Jul 2005 11:15

pass the threshold at 50ft?
Have a look at this !!!!!!!!!!


Captions please.


Art Field 11th Jul 2005 11:24

I know you are keen to get down for a swim, Co, but ---!!!!!.

Wycombe 11th Jul 2005 11:38

That's St. Maarten (SXM) in the Carribean.

Simply hundreds of photos like this of the place on airliners.net.

The threshold is literally the other side of the fence. There is high ground at the other end IIRC, just to add to the fun.

Anorak off, it's a bit warm today!

Edited to add caption "Heard there's some really top totty, we'll have a look on the way in"

mbga9pgf 11th Jul 2005 20:23

Sorry to spoil the fun, but think its a fake. Check the port main gear, looks as if its being retracted or extended...

Fox3snapshot 11th Jul 2005 21:40

Having landed at that airfield on two occassions after our BVI frenzies and peered out the window at that very bar, it looks pretty possible to me!

But not sure what it has to do with the military forum.....:confused:

Kestrel_909 11th Jul 2005 22:55

I doubt it is fake, even if it was, there isn't anything particularly special to make it stand out against the other SXM photos.

Interesting point about the gear, I have seen that before somewhere.

Captain Airclues 11th Jul 2005 23:44


The gear is not being retracted or extended. That is the normal 'tilt' which, as well as allowing the gear to fit into the bay, also puts the aircraft into ground mode when it untilts on landing. Ground mode, amongst other things, allows full spoiler extension rather than the limited extension in flight. The aircraft has flap 30 set, so gear retraction in this configuration would cause a loud horn to sound on the flight deck.
Having seen many photos of this airfield, and flown with people who have operated there, I have no reason to believe that it is a fake.


seacue 12th Jul 2005 00:59

Surely real, though somewhat lower than typical. I think it's with a telephoto lens which distorts the distance. The usually-shown low approach is an AF 747 taken from the other side.

One of my favorites at SXM on A...... is looking down on a shiny American Airlines 757 from a top floor of the hotel beside the end of the strip. Transparent blue water, ahhh......

Tigs2 12th Jul 2005 12:42

If it was me stood underneath, i would have hit the deck or been running at this stage.

flipster 12th Jul 2005 23:22

50' RA over the threshold? I doubt it!
Impressive, nonetheless.

slingsby 3rd Nov 2005 05:34

St Maarten Airport

I have just watched this video, does anyone else think the bizjet was a bit low !! Stunning departures though.

I think there is a car roof or two going to be attached to someones gear soon, if not worse.

BANANASBANANAS 3rd Nov 2005 05:42

I operated into/out of SXM regularly a few years ago and it is a spectacular airport to fly into and out of. I think that a long lens has dramatised the effects a little ........ but only a little.

Hows the constabulary Slingsby?

slingsby 3rd Nov 2005 06:13

I know a long lens may give the optical illusion, but still that couldn't have cleared the fence by much.

BB check yr PM

Dream Land 3rd Nov 2005 09:43

Link not working for me.:confused:

Otterman 3rd Nov 2005 10:29

Hello Slingsby,
Having flown 747's into there on many occassions I can tell you that precision is the name of the game. There is no ILS installed, so it is basically a visual approach. There is a VOR/DME approach if there are some low clouds in the area. There are some interesting pictures out there. The attached link is on the topic of st. maarten on a previous thread.

One detail I would like to share is that the road behind the runway is so close to the fence that it actually has traffic lights, and a barrier when large aircraft are on the approach. We had to get the all clear first to make sure none of the tourists or locals were standing near the fence before we applied take-off thrust. There is a very neat video of this not being adhered to and people getting blown from the fence all the way into the sea.
Greetings O.

Seaton Approach 3rd Nov 2005 23:46

"Skipper, look at the tits on that......!"

Doors to Automatic 4th Nov 2005 01:48

1. It's not a fake

2. It's not particularly low for the location

To see more search airliners.net or click on to "most popular pictures of all time" on the same website. You will see a lot worse than this!!!

Runway 31 4th Nov 2005 08:43

One of the highlights of my last time over there was sitting in the Sunset Beach bar taking pics, eating a burger and drinking a beer while my wife snorkled off the beach. Heaven

Farrell 4th Nov 2005 13:34

1. It is a fake (albeit just lowered slightly for greater effect)

2. Put it into Photoshop and bring it up to 400% zoom. Check the nosewheels and main gear. The white rings around the tires are the giveaway....still trying to get around that telltale.

GOLF-INDIA BRAVO 4th Nov 2005 14:29

Certainly not fake
I have seen my friends photos
with B757 leaving at vortex trail accross the water
They are nearly as low when they come in over the lagoon at Corfu and you can sit on the resaurant balcony and look down on the planes


con-pilot 4th Nov 2005 18:15

Farrell I really donít believe it is a fake, could be, but I really doubt it.

I have spent too many evenings and nights sitting at the Sun Set Beach bar (see www.sunsetbeachbar.com.) consuming numerous beers and munching on really good food watching some folks come in really low.

There is a picture floating around the internet of an Air France 74 coming across the road lower, a lot lower, than the picture of the KLM 74. The Air France picture was taken years ago before the advent of photo-shop software. There were some reports that the Air France 74 took out the fence by the road. However, I have no idea if the fence story is true.

Farrell 4th Nov 2005 18:30

Maybe you're right, sir .....just goes to show you though doesn't it, that in this age of photo editing packages we never really know for sure what's real anymore.

Kestrel_909 4th Nov 2005 18:40

Are you for real Farrell?

Well, it had to be asked:E

Farrell 4th Nov 2005 18:41

Ok folks; I take it back! It's not fake.

I have had a look at the photographer's only post on airliners.net of this aircraft.


Same date and time, but different angle, and it looks like it could have gotten that low.

Head bowed in humility - I am at your mercy

(and while I'm here....
in this shot, is that a nasty crease in the paintwork?)

El Grifo 4th Nov 2005 19:24

The point relating to distortion due to the use of a telephoto lense is a crock also.

This phenomenon happens when you are shooting directly at a subject. Only the perspective is fore-shortened. It would not and could not affect the apparent distance between the aircraft and the ground.

Sorry guys :8 :ok: :8

Byrna 6th Nov 2005 20:22

I have videos of planes taking off and landing from Princess Juliana airport in Sint-Maarten (SXM/TNCM) and this is one crazy landing spot!

A LITTLE STORY TO TELL which I lived through (*phew*):

I am not experienced being so close to jets and I was standing RIGHT BEHIND a Continental Airlines 737NG (-700 or -800 I believe) on the beach right behind the runway when it started its take-off thrust...

... ummmm... not a good idea folks! I got my towel blown into the sea (about 100 feet), sand came at me like a sand storm in the Sahara and I rushed immediately to the side. No injuries. That's a "jet blast" I think :))


NO DELAY EXPECTED 19th Jul 2006 13:44

pass the threshold at 50ft?
Is this how KLM fly into St Maarten all the time ?
I think they will end up taking the fence with them one day !

Anybody who operates in there want to comment , do you really not fly the PAPIS in a widebody ?

WindSheer 19th Jul 2006 13:47

Nothing wrong with a slightly early touchdown to maximise your decision and stopping time.....even if you do clip the fence!!:eek:

preset 19th Jul 2006 13:51

Are you sure it's not a really short takeoff, you know, really light weight, strong HWC :}

Beanbag 19th Jul 2006 13:53

I wouldn't mind betting that parallax / depth compression from a long lens are making this look worse than it was.

11Fan 19th Jul 2006 13:55

At Virgin, you get a massage. With KLM, you get a haircut.

Groundloop 19th Jul 2006 15:52

Originally Posted by WindSheer
Nothing wrong with a slightly early touchdown to maximise your decision and stopping time.....even if you do clip the fence!!:eek:

Except landing short of the threshold is technically illegal!

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