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St Maarten Jet Blasting Fatality


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Thanks for the link.

 

We visited Maho in the 90s, while on a land trip, before watching the planes at Maho was such a thing. We watched an Air France jumbo jet land, and the next day found ourselves on a snorkeling trip with the captain and several of the crewmembers. That was unexpected!

 

Now it's so crowded there it's unappealing. But the warning signs are there and others have been killed or injured as well over the years.

 

Not a great way to end a vacation, that's for sure. :loudcry:

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The warning sign cannot possibly be any bigger or clearer. Unfortunately, some people will not use common sense. The safest place is on the beach and not by the fence. Even then you feel the thrust and can fall down easily. The concrete blocks, which unfortunately caused her death, are there to protect people on the beach from cars. I wonder if St. Maarten will now have to put up a concrete wall instead of just a fence, or even close the road. So sad for this woman and her family.

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I do not understand how it can be a tourist attraction, with the noise and danger. The times I have been to St Maarten I have been to Orient Beach a quiet place and a beautiful beach, also booked this for our next cruise Celebrity Eclipse Exotic Southern Caribbean

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I do not understand how it can be a tourist attraction, with the noise and danger. The times I have been to St Maarten I have been to Orient Beach a quiet place and a beautiful beach, also booked this for our next cruise Celebrity Eclipse Exotic Southern Caribbean

 

If you are not on the flight path of the plane there is not much danger and the noise is also less if you stay off to the side.

 

When we were there I saw people from the fence thrown to the ground - common sense says that isn't a clever thing to do. Same as putting your beach bag down in the sand on the flight path. Don't be surprised if you have to fish your belongings out of the ocean.

 

maho-beach-st-martin-21700378.jpg

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The warning sign cannot possibly be any bigger or clearer. Unfortunately, some people will not use common sense. The safest place is on the beach and not by the fence. Even then you feel the thrust and can fall down easily. The concrete blocks, which unfortunately caused her death, are there to protect people on the beach from cars. I wonder if St. Maarten will now have to put up a concrete wall instead of just a fence, or even close the road. So sad for this woman and her family.

If you're going to do this, hanging on to the fence is actually the safest way. Don't let go, hang on with arms intertwined. Being thrown from the beach into concrete is no bueno.

 

 

But anyone who does this is asking for injury.

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If you're going to do this, hanging on to the fence is actually the safest way.
This sounds like an oxymoron - the "safest way" to do a very risky thing! The safest way IMO is to watch others do it from well off to the side! :cool:
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I've often wondered why they couldn't install some 6 to 8 ft high barriers just inside the fence to deflect the blast upward, over the thrill-seekers heads.

 

It is clearly marked. My husband and I sat at a restaurant to the side to watch the planes come in. That was close enough.

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That would be too dangerous for landing aircraft.
Why? It would be no higher than the chain-link fence, and the upward air blast would occur after any landing aircraft was well past it.
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It is clearly marked. My husband and I sat at a restaurant to the side to watch the planes come in. That was close enough.

 

(y) Totally agree with you! From the restaurant was also close enough for us! :D

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We watched the KLM 747 arrive from the bar next to the beach just because we happened to be there as the plane was arriving. I admit it was pretty cool to see it, but the sidelines were close enough for me. (Side note: KLM's youtube channel has a cool video of this landing from the pilot's viewpoint).

 

Hanging on to the fence or standing in the path of the engine blast is just a dumb thing to do. You physically have to go past several warning signs, across a 2 lane road and then walk over to the airport fence. This wasn't some freak accident. This person intentionally put themselves in harms way and sadly suffered a fatal consequence due to their actions.

 

Sent from my SM-G930T using Forums mobile app

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I've often wondered why they couldn't install some 6 to 8 ft high barriers just inside the fence to deflect the blast upward, over the thrill-seekers heads.
Probably an international airports rule or convention (like FAA in USA) that restricts obstacles on the landing path that might obscure the visual approach slope indicator lights on final approach. That runway is fairly short and constrained by the ocean at one end and the mountains at the other. Having sat on the beach and watched the KLM 747 approaching (no longer in service) it was clear they were coming in very low to use every inch. Landing really is not the issue for planes as the engines are not blasting like takeoff. The unique thing at Princess Julia is the big jets need to wind up the engines pretty fully before releasing the brakes to get enough speed to get airborne AND climbing/turning enough to miss the mountains. Hence the beach blast. Maybe a hydraulic jet blast deflector controlled by the tower for takeoffs?

 

I view the fence riding as being similar to people running with the bulls in Pamplona or wing suit base jumping. There will always be risk taking thrill seekers. The middle of the beach was plenty close enough for me thank you when a 767 was taking off. :eek:

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Why? It would be no higher than the chain-link fence, and the upward air blast would occur after any landing aircraft was well past it.

 

Because EASA ( the EU version of FAA) in accordance with ICAO regulations, tells airports that within a certain zone ( I do not have my books here, so can't explain in detail) all obstructions, like fences, lights, etc must be frangible. This is in case of an "undershoot" or "overshoot" where an aircraft will either land or come to rest in the area adjacent to the runway. ( RESA Runway End Safety Area).

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Why? It would be no higher than the chain-link fence, and the upward air blast would occur after any landing aircraft was well past it.

Because a chain link fence is frangible - if a landing plane hit the fence it would damage the plane, but probably not destroy it. OTOH, a blast fence (what you are referring to) has to be firmly implanted into the ground and have sufficient structure to withstand takeoff jet blast. Hitting that upon landing would result in a major accident.

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Probably an international airports rule or convention (like FAA in USA) that restricts obstacles on the landing path that might obscure the visual approach slope indicator lights on final approach. That runway is fairly short and constrained by the ocean at one end and the mountains at the other. Having sat on the beach and watched the KLM 747 approaching (no longer in service) it was clear they were coming in very low to use every inch. Landing really is not the issue for planes as the engines are not blasting like takeoff. The unique thing at Princess Julia is the big jets need to wind up the engines pretty fully before releasing the brakes to get enough speed to get airborne AND climbing/turning enough to miss the mountains. Hence the beach blast. Maybe a hydraulic jet blast deflector controlled by the tower for takeoffs?

 

I view the fence riding as being similar to people running with the bulls in Pamplona or wing suit base jumping. There will always be risk taking thrill seekers. The middle of the beach was plenty close enough for me thank you when a 767 was taking off. :eek:

 

Just a quick remark, the B747-400 " Queen of the Sky" is still very much in loyal service with KLM 😀😎😉

The route is however flown now with other ( inferiour 😉) aircraft types.

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Sad! And this was by a twin-engine 737. This video shows what a 747 at full take-off power does at Maho Beach.

 

Warning_sign_on_Maho_Beach.jpg?fit=758%2C427

And yes, the signage is very clear however, it has become a kind of sport to stand there and try to hang on to the fence

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The Princess Juliana Airport runway is 7546 ft, (2300 meters) long and provides plenty of length for even "heavy" jets, (4 engine B-747, A-340). The planes do spool up their engines with brakes applied to verify that all is working well. You don't want to experience an engine-out takeoff with small mountains across Simpson Bay at the end of the runway. The departure procedure requires a climbing right turn after the aircraft is cleaned up (gear up, flaps retracted to climb setting). If you lose an engine after V1, (the go/no-go decision speed) you must continue the takeoff. You don't want to be doing any steep turns with only one engine thrusting. That's why they do an engine runup at the business end of the runway. As far as hanging into the fence for a takeoff roll, consider this. The jet blast from those 2 (or 4) engines is sufficient to propel a 300,000 lb jet up to takeoff speed of 150 kts. Why do these morons think that their little fingers (or arms locked, as one suggested) will keep your puny 100+ lb body from being blown away during a takeoff ? If you are capable of holding on, how about the absolute joy of being blasted by rocks, jet fuel, sand, and anything else on the runway ? Is it worth losing an eye, or maybe a skull fracture from a rock being blown at you at 100+ mph ? As a retired pilot, who has made many arrivals and departures at SXM, I found the facility perfectly acceptable from an aviation point of view. But when I was on the taxiway, first in line for departure, and I saw all those idiots hanging onto that fence, I always had horrible thoughts of what damage my aircraft could do to someone. But the tower said "Cleared for Takeoff", I jammed those throttles full forward and forgot about it. I had a job to do, and my passenger's safety was paramount.

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Because EASA ( the EU version of FAA) in accordance with ICAO regulations, tells airports that within a certain zone ( I do not have my books here, so can't explain in detail) all obstructions, like fences, lights, etc must be frangible. This is in case of an "undershoot" or "overshoot" where an aircraft will either land or come to rest in the area adjacent to the runway. ( RESA Runway End Safety Area).

 

Because a chain link fence is frangible - if a landing plane hit the fence it would damage the plane, but probably not destroy it. OTOH, a blast fence (what you are referring to) has to be firmly implanted into the ground and have sufficient structure to withstand takeoff jet blast. Hitting that upon landing would result in a major accident.
Okay, then how about steel plates that can be raised and lowered under tower control for engine rev-up for takeoffs like Sequim88 suggested? Edited by jtl513
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Higher fences, steel ramps/plates, brick wall...?

 

You CANNOT make an idiot-proof fence, someone will always try and climb higher to get a thrill.

 

Darwin's Theory applies.

 

This is so true. Idiots can always find a way to get into trouble.

I live in a city situated on the Niagara Escarpment. There is a waterfall within the city limits that has been in the news lately because idiots keep getting into trouble here. There are all sorts of signs warning people not to go down to the waterfall from the roadway, but people always ignore the signs. This summer has been really bad - there have been many rope rescues by the fire department needed as people get stuck part way down. These firefighters are putting themselves at risk each time, not to mention what each of these rescues must cost. The city put up more and bigger signs and they were ignored. They put up fencing and people pulled it down or cut it to gain access again. About 2 weeks ago one of these idiots fell over a hundred feet and died. Still people are ignoring the signs. Now the city is putting heavy duty, high fencing around the perimeter, and they are going to start charging people with trespassing. I'm sure there are people who will continue to find ways to get into trouble there.

There is a comedian who says "you can't fix stupid". So true.

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