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Getting Jet Blasted by a Boeing 747-400 at SXM

This week I’m hanging out in St. Maarten, part of the Netherlands. St. Maarten’s airport, Princess Juliana International Airport, is the main air transportation hub in St. Maartin. It’s a large, modern airport, with a single runway. The runway accomodates all types of planes, from small Cessnas all the way up to the Boeing 747-400 jet. Since St. Maarten is a rocky island, there’s not a lot of flat land on which to build the huge runway necessary to handle the worlds largest jets. In order to accomodate this long runway, builders were forced to run it right up to the beach on one end. The beach still remains, however now the runway goes all the way to where sunbathers lie. I had the opportunity to hang out on this beach – Maho – and witness a 747-400 take off right in front of me – quite spectacular! The jet blast from the 4 engines is extremely hot, and picks up a lot of dust and sand. Video on YouTube…

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