A Boeing 747 airliner surprises family on Maho Beach in St. Maarten
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The Caribbean island of St. Maarten is the home of the famous Princess Juliana International Airport. Plane spotters come from all over the world to witness the low flying aircraft. At only 7,980 feet, the runway is barely long enough for large jets to land. Incoming airliners approaching the island, must touchdown at the very beginning of the runway which is just past the beach. This means they have to fly extremely low, passing only 30-60 feet over tourists on Maho Beach.
Too Close For Comfort: Jessie Wood and her children, Betsy and Jamie, react to a thunderous Boeing 747 passing nearly 50 feet above as it approaches the nearby runway. The jumbo jet blasted sand which felt like a spray of tiny bullets of gunfire.Â The Paris based French carrier Corsair is the only airline to operate a 747 at the airport. It does so twice a week during peak season. This photo won a National Geographic award in 2009 for “Places.” It subsequently became Photo of the Day: Best of August 2010.