Gorgeous photos of jets flying too close to the beach

Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on St. Maarten has an extremely short runway (7152 feet) that forces jets to get mighty close to people at Maho Beach. 

Photographer Josef Hoflehner has taken some amazing shots of this phenomenon. 


  1. “That Guy,” here! The runway is *not* extremely short (in fact, at the mentioned 7,100 feet it’s a mile and a half long), and in fact is fully capable of landing and departing some of the largest aircraft in the world. The reason for the beach shots is the orientation of the runway (where there was enough flat land to build one). “Too close” is also a phrase I would avoid, they are the right distance and it is more or less safe to hang out on the beach, I wouldn’t stand behind one taking off, though.

    You can check out more photo of the airport here: http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?placesearch=Philipsburg%20%2F%20St.%20Maarten%20-%20Princess%20Juliana%20%28SXM%20%2F%20TNCM%29&distinct_entry=true

  2. The big 4 engine ones taxi down and turn around. The wash blows people right into the water. Its fun to watch them from the beach bar.

  3. I tried to have the same experience with some local planes ad all I got was that ankle bracelet and the inability to apply for new jobs.

    The two days of water boarding was not so bad. Of course, now I have to sip water constantly as I cannot take a deep swallow of water without vomiting. I also have this fantasy about wiping out the entire nation of Syria,  which is were I think I spent those two days. If they had just clued me in I would have confessed to anything.  I think it was all about the lulz.

  4. When I started working at the Louisville International Airport (called Standiford Field at the time) I did survey work daily at the end of a runway we were extending. I had views like this all day long. The Ky Air National Guard base, also located there, had F4 Phantoms coming and going routinely. On takeoff, their thrusts created visible concentric rings of conical fire. It was visually stunning and LOUD!

  5. If the pilot’s good, see, I mean if he’s reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low… oh you oughta see it sometime. It’s a sight. A big plane like a ’52… varrrooom! Its jet exhaust… frying chickens in the barnyard! 

  6. I knew people in the 70’s who used to drop acid on a warm summer night, then sneak onto the Bluegrass Airfield in Lexington, Ky. They would lay in the grass at the end of the runway and wait for the show.

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