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End of the 747 landings in St. Maarten

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Other than 747-800s, of which there aren't many, standard 747s are going to be phasing out over the next 5 or so years. I know United has a plan for them to be gone from their fleet by the end of 2018.

Edited by CruiserBruce

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I watched an A-330 land yesterday. Not quite as scary as the 747s but I would still rather sail into St. Maarten!:D

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As a retired airline pilot, I've landed 757's and 737's into Princess Juliana countless times. There's absolutely NO danger at all landing there, with any size transport aircraft. except the A-380. The only real danger at that airport is to the morons that hang on the fence at the business-end of the runway. During a takeoff, they get sand-blasted, stones and rocks hurled at them, and some get blown off the fence onto the road. One person got blown off the fence, and cracked her head on the curbing. She suffered a severe concussion. She got a lawyer and sued the airport. They showed pictures in court of the many warning signs all along the fences and the judge threw the case out.

Runway 10 there is 7546 ft long, with adequate overrun. The reason most pilots land so close to the border fence is because of the old aviation saying.. "any runway behind you is useless". Takeoff is interesting because you have some small mountains across Simpson Bay. So, once you have cleaned up the aircraft, (gear up, flaps partially retracted) you make a climbing right turn for a normal departure. Contact San Juan Center and you are on your way. No big deal !!

But contrary to the many TV shows that claim that SXM is one of the most dangerous airports, it's all hype. It's only dangerous if you have had too many beers at the Sunset Beach Bar nearby, and get blown off of the fence.

Edited by TAD2005

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As a retired airline pilot, I've landed 757's and 737's into Princess Juliana countless times. There's absolutely NO danger at all landing there, with any size transport aircraft. except the A-380. ... . It's only dangerous if you have had too many beers at the Sunset Beach Bar nearby, and get blown off of the fence.

 

Thanks for the personal observations.

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As a retired airline pilot, I've landed 757's and 737's into Princess Juliana countless times. There's absolutely NO danger at all landing there, with any size transport aircraft. except the A-380. The only real danger at that airport is to the morons that hang on the fence at the business-end of the runway. During a takeoff, they get sand-blasted, stones and rocks hurled at them, and some get blown off the fence onto the road. One person got blown off the fence, and cracked her head on the curbing. She suffered a severe concussion. She got a lawyer and sued the airport. They showed pictures in court of the many warning signs all along the fences and the judge threw the case out.

Runway 10 there is 7546 ft long, with adequate overrun. The reason most pilots land so close to the border fence is because of the old aviation saying.. "any runway behind you is useless". Takeoff is interesting because you have some small mountains across Simpson Bay. So, once you have cleaned up the aircraft, (gear up, flaps partially retracted) you make a climbing right turn for a normal departure. Contact San Juan Center and you are on your way. No big deal !!

But contrary to the many TV shows that claim that SXM is one of the most dangerous airports, it's all hype. It's only dangerous if you have had too many beers at the Sunset Beach Bar nearby, and get blown off of the fence.

 

I have watched a lot of YouTube videos and certainly have to agree with you about the morons. I have often wished I could visit the beach area to watch them from a safe distance but from what I read, the large planes from overseas don't start arriving until the afternoon and it would have been cutting it too close to the ship's departure time to depend on getting a taxi back in time.

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Thanks, TAD2005, for setting the record straight. It has always been a peeve of mine that folks are so quick to sue someone else for their own stupidity. Like filing suit because of aircraft noise when the airport was there years before they built their house right up against the airfield fence.

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Thanks, TAD2005, for setting the record straight. It has always been a peeve of mine that folks are so quick to sue someone else for their own stupidity. Like filing suit because of aircraft noise when the airport was there years before they built their house right up against the airfield fence.

 

I see you're from Texas. If you're from Dallas (my home town) I suppose you remember the "Make Love Quiet" campaign in the 80s? KDAL was built in the middle of a bean field during WWI. Folks moved in later -- much later. Whatever, airport noise just sounds like $$$ to me since I was an aeronautical engineer before I retired.

 

Beep! Beep! Sorry, I just set off the thread creep annunciator.

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I have watched a lot of YouTube videos and certainly have to agree with you about the morons. I have often wished I could visit the beach area to watch them from a safe distance but from what I read, the large planes from overseas don't start arriving until the afternoon and it would have been cutting it too close to the ship's departure time to depend on getting a taxi back in time.

 

You are correct... the earliest large plane that arrives is right after noon. Most of the US and Canadian flights (Delta, AA, United, WestJet, JetBlue, etc) are quick turnarounds. They arrive between noon and 3:00pm, unload, take on their fuel load, reload pax, and head back north. As long as the crew can perform the round trip in under 9 hours actual flying time, and 14 hours total trip time, they are OK with the FAA. Obviously, flights that cross the big pond (KLM, AF, Caribair) cannot use the same crew for the return flight. So they get a layover, and the previous day's crew takes the ship back to Europe. Most departures, North America and Europe, are totally gone by 7:00pm.

Even though the 747's will be phased out, Air France still flies an A-340, which is a wide-body, 4 engine transport, that makes the round trip between CDG and SXM daily. With 4 engines, they don't have to concern themselves with ETOPS (Extended Range Twin-Engine Operations) which requires twin-engine jets to stay within 120 to 240 minutes of a suitable airport.

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TAD 2005 thanks for your insight I agree there are always idiots where ever you go.

Allan

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One of my favorite things to do in the Caribbean is a stop at the Sunset Bar to enjoy the atmosphere and watch the big jets. Not many places left where you can legally get this close to landing aircraft. :D

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Bummer - some of my best pics at St. Martin were of the KLM 747 coming in - first at a distance, then some closer then right overhead. :eek: Sitting on the beach it seemed to be landing right on us. Later when a 767 took off we very judiciously waited on the beach side of the road - well back - and still got sand blasted. :o

 

I work within a stone's throw of the giant 747 assembly plant and it is mostly switched over to 777 and soon 777x with maybe two 747s a month and those freighters not passenger models. Time and technology march on. The new composite fiber wing facility for the 777x is amazing. :cool:

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Bummer - some of my best pics at St. Martin were of the KLM 747 coming in - first at a distance, then some closer then right overhead. :eek: Sitting on the beach it seemed to be landing right on us. Later when a 767 took off we very judiciously waited on the beach side of the road - well back - and still got sand blasted. :o

 

I work within a stone's throw of the giant 747 assembly plant and it is mostly switched over to 777 and soon 777x with maybe two 747s a month and those freighters not passenger models. Time and technology march on. The new composite fiber wing facility for the 777x is amazing. :cool:

 

The 747-8 assembly line guys just got a reprieve. UPS just ordered 14 new B-747-8F freighters at a list price of 5.3 billion. For freight, you can't beat the good 'ol 74's. Similar to the demise of the Boeing 727, the "three-holer". Because of the noise of the old Pratt JT8-D engines, they were banned from overflying the US. But many freight companies still use them as long as they just enter and exit US airspace at Miami. Amerijet is one freight company that still flies the 72 without the mandated hush kits. They fly into St. Maarten every day. Sitting at the Sunset Beach bar, you hear this huge roar, and look, figuring it's a 74 or a 76, and it's the mighty Amerijet 727 screaming out of PJIA in it's climbout.

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Thanks for the interesting info. The 727 was always my favorite jet. Thought it looked great too. :D When the Powerball check arrives, I just might get me one.:eek::D

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Video from the last arrival and departure:

 

b6ob4pDzcvg

De-icing? :D

Edited by POA1

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Gotta hand it to the PTZ camera operators - they do a great job of zooming on interesting things. Like the sign in the cockpit window. The Maho Beach camera will be a lot less interesting now. Waiting for Juneau Harbor to get active again.

 

Watching 747s take off is amazing because once in the air they just seem to float, looking almost motionless. The Maho camera zoom against the clouds gave a sense of speed but to the naked eye it's different. I watched a Dreamlifter (special modified 747 but extra huge) take off from Boeing earlier this week and once in the air it looked like it was standing still even though it had to have been 200 mph by then. Watched it for a couple minutes and it did not move - just got smaller. ;)

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The 747-8 assembly line guys just got a reprieve. UPS just ordered 14 new B-747-8F freighters at a list price of 5.3 billion. For freight, you can't beat the good 'ol 74's. Similar to the demise of the Boeing 727, the "three-holer". Because of the noise of the old Pratt JT8-D engines, they were banned from overflying the US. But many freight companies still use them as long as they just enter and exit US airspace at Miami. Amerijet is one freight company that still flies the 72 without the mandated hush kits. They fly into St. Maarten every day. Sitting at the Sunset Beach bar, you hear this huge roar, and look, figuring it's a 74 or a 76, and it's the mighty Amerijet 727 screaming out of PJIA in it's climbout.

 

I miss that roar! You probably remember flying into JFK right across Rockaway Blvd. in Queens, N.Y....I used to get off the Southern State & take the back entrance off Rockaway Blvd into the airport when I worked there...It was such fun to see an aircraft going in for a landing when I was on Rockaway..

 

We lived in Long Beach, N.Y. & when the flights came over our house we had to stop talking on the phone..It was always exciting for me..

 

Our office was on the third floor above our terminal & we could see the tower from the office..Once in a great while an aircraft flew close for the tower to check his landing gear..One time a gal I worked with dove under her desk it was so close..LOL

 

When they moved our office out of JFK into Rego Park, it broke my heart! After that DH & I used to go out to the TWA Terminal just to have a drink & sightsee.. :D

 

Video from the last arrival and departure:

 

b6ob4pDzcvg

 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for posting that video..It's still exciting for me to watch..

Edited by serendipity1499

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It's the end of the era for the awesome 747 landings at Maho Beach. KLM is now flying Airbus A330s instead.

 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a23599/boeing-747-st-maarten-landing/

 

I'm sure someone is going to call this a "cutback" and complain. :D

 

POA thanks for starting this thread..Now I have to figure out how to get in my favorites on my P.C. especially the video that Boytjie posted.. It's exciting for me to watch..

 

When I started in the airline business in 1956, (I was 12 yrs old ;):)) our Company, as well as KLM, AF, TWA, PAA & all the other carriers only had DC6B's & DC7C's..

 

When the first Jets started, that was an exciting time for us..

Edited by serendipity1499

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