Jumbo jet barrels towards mountain during extreme takeoff

Spitfire Published February 24, 2018

Rumble The beautiful Caribbean island of St. Maarten boasts one of the most popular and extreme airports in the world - the Princess Juliana International Airport. St. Maarten is part of the Netherlands, located in the eastern islands of the Caribbean and can be found just east of Puerto Rico. The island is home to approximately 34,000 inhabitants and is a very popular destination for cruise ships and holiday travellers.
Princess Juliana International Airport annually sees around 2 million travellers pass through its terminal during 60,000 aircraft movements. What makes the airport so extreme and popular amongst aircraft enthusiasts is it's location. At 7,546 feet long, the runway is only 14 feet above see level and the taxiway/runway is only a scant 70 meters from a popular beach on the island.
The airport only has a single runway orientated in an east/west direction. Runway 10 faces the east and is by far one of the most extreme runways in the world. Jumbo jets landing on Runway 10 fly just meters over the beach creating a breath-taking spectacle for onlookers.
Runway 10 is also extreme for another reason - it's takeoffs. Here in this video we watch an American Airlines jet taxiing onto Runway 10 in front of onlookers. Beach goers enjoy lining the beach during takeoffs - many of them getting blown into the sea from the jet wash. Signs on the airport's fence warn beach goers of the dangers of doing so. As the jet engines wind up for take off and the jet starts barrelling down the runway, viewers can quickly see why this is an extreme airport - the mountain at the end of Runway 10!
Pilots have to quickly reach takeoff speed and rotate into a very steep climb in order to safely clear the mountain. It's definitely not a takeoff for the faint of heart!

8 COMMENTS

  • Tripwire, 1 year ago

    Great video!

    4 rumbles
    • Spitfire, 1 year ago

      Thanks! I would love to go back there again - but this time with a GoPro! Lol

      4 rumbles
  • DavidMcNab, 1 year ago

    I bet they clipped the trees.

    3 rumbles
  • cdngreenwaterdiver, 1 year ago

    whew, big time rate of climb. I would love to experience the landings behind that fence.

    4 rumbles
  • Spitfire, 1 year ago

    This was a Boeing 737 and man those engines were loud! The video doesn't do it justice on how loud it was. To top it all off there were around a half dozen people on the beach immediately behind the aircraft that were completely sandblasted - but I didn't get it caught on camera.

    4 rumbles
  • DavidMcNab, 32 weeks ago

    I feel like I flew with this pilot a few weeks agao lol

    3 rumbles
  • Ghostriderto, 31 weeks ago

    I can fly like that. I'm going to try for a job with that airline :)

    2 rumbles
  • BigSexysPlayground, 31 weeks ago

    I might have been on this flight. I just slept through the takeoff.

    1 rumble