Thursday, December 3, 2009

A scary-looking landing!

I'm sure many readers have seen video clips of aircraft landing at St. Maarten airport in the Caribbean. Here's one such clip, out of many on YouTube and elsewhere.

Reader D. M. sent me this picture of a KLM Boeing 747 landing at St. Maarten. It's taken from a higher vantage point than the beach, and thus shows more clearly than the video clip just how very, very close the aircraft comes to the beach, the road, and the perimeter fence when landing - particularly its wheels. Talk about a close shave! (Click the picture for a larger view.)

After seeing that, I don't think I want to land there in a large aircraft, thank you very much! I'd prefer something smaller, which doesn't have to strain to use every available inch of runway.



Bob said...

Landings at St. Bart's and Saba are hair-raising, also.

Ambulance Driver said...

Plane, schmane!

I don't want to be in that car!

Crucis said...

When the Kansas City major airport was at Kansas City Municipal---at the conjunction of the Missouri and Kaw Rivers, you could look down from some of the office buildings and watch planes landing. The airport was build in a bend of the Missouri river only a few hundred yards from the KC business district. The southern approach had some tall radio towers close to the final leg of the landing pattern. Depending on the wind, you sometimes had to fly around them to line up on the run way.

The flight path from the northern approach crossed a levee and a paved road that encircled the airport. My wife and I used to park there at a small turnup and watch the 707s land, passing just above us. Maybe 50-60 feet up.

There's a new airport now many miles further north that the major airlines now use. The old municipal airport is still open for cargo, bizjet and smaller aircraft. You can still get a close view from the levee road.