Saint Martin: As Close To Jets As You Can Get

An obvious candidate for Planelopnik heaven is Princess Juliana International Airport on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. This is the airport where heavy passenger jets come in for the landing directly above cars and people on Maho Beach.

Princess Juliana began life as a military airstrip in 1942 and became a civilian airport shortly thereafter. Just how close is the landing strip to the beach and the road? This close:


The airport is located on the Dutch half of the island: the eastern part of Saint Martin belongs to France and has its own airport. You’ve probably seen plenty of photos of the big blue KLM 747’s swooping in, but Josef Hoflener’s black and white series, one of which you can see above, treats the scene with a level of artistry (and a generous helping of bikini-clad women) rarely seen anywhere else.

Another way to capture the surreality is to use a cellular phone, adding a frightening immediacy to the landing:

And as if you needed telling, HEAVY JETS ARE DANGEROUS and can cause EXTREME BODILY HARM:


Photo Credit: Josef Hoflener, Jj04/Wikipedia

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