April 18 and April 21, 2008

TNCM: Sint Maarten pictures and videos.

** This is the airport next to Maho Beach where people have captured awesome pictures and videos of airliners flying low over the water and sand, nearly hitting the fence and sandblasting tourists on the beach.

Description/caption of each picture is immediately below the picture.

Pictures (videos are at the bottom):

Here we are, arrived at the Princess Juliana airport on Sint Maarten. Many pronounce Sint Maarten as "Saint Martin."

Runway 09 at TNCM, with a Twin Otter in position for takeoff. Note the hills directly in line with the takeoff path. They are about 1,100 feet tall. Departing runway 09 requires an immediate right turn to about 160-180 degrees magnetic, then you have to fly between two hills, about 700 and 300 feet tall each.

Yes, a very important warning. You will be sandblasted in this area if a large aircraft is taking off. The beginning of the runway that aircraft can use for takeoff is only about 100 feet east of this sign.

A large cave under our hotel.

That's me at dinner on the first night on the island.

The island of Saba, 30 miles to the south-southwest of Sint Maarten. The island is basically a dormant volcano that was built upon. There is an airport, however, the runway is only 1000 feet long and was built on the flattest part of the island. See this page for a picture. Just make sure you don't land short or long!

An iguana watching me from inside the airport perimeter fence while waiting for our flight to depart.

This is called a "blue hole," somewhere in the Turks and Caicos. Since the T&Cs are located atop a tablemount (underwater mountain), sometimes there is subsistence movement (sinkholes). This is what a blue hole looks like from altitude.


  Dash 8 landing runway 09 (WMV, 19 seconds, 5 MB)

  Twin Otter landing runway 09 (WMV, 16 seconds, 4 MB)

  ATR72 taking off runway 09 with a necessary early turn for terrain (sorry for the blur) (WMV, 41 seconds, 7 MB)

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