Flutter around the Dutch Antilles
Maho Beach, Princess Juliana Airport, St. Maarten
By Jan Koppen
In February 2020, my friend, Mr. Michael S. Prophet and I travelled from Amsterdam to the Caribbean ‘old-style’. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines brought us comfortably in their 27 years young Queen, "City of Nairobi" (PH-BFN), to Willemstad, Curacao. During our spotters-trip in the Caribbean we took the opportunity to flutter around the Dutch Antilles, to spot and photograph the aviation activity on these tiny islands. The 4th island was St. Maarten. Enjoy the pics, video and captions.
Maho beach at the start of SXM runway 10 is a f*cking good spotting place. Besides the well-known low level approaching jet and prop aircraft, you got several bars at the beach, of which the Sunset bar is the most famous. During the happy hour you can enjoy a live band playing the hits of the 80's, while more modern jets are blasting off runway 28 with a moderate tailwind.
St. Maarten Airport by MeteoGroup Time zone: Caribbean. In the early morning it will be variable with scattered showers or thunderstorms. Before noon mainly sunny weather with but a few clouds will dominate..... Oeps!
One of the most famous spotting locations in the world, the road between Maho Beach and the low fence of the airport. Great opportunity to experience some jet blast also. Google Maps Coordinates: 18.039146, -63.120281.
Swimming and watching planes - there is nothing better.
One of the most unique spotting locations must be the deck of Sunset Bar and Grill located in Maho Beach. A perfect view of arrivals while enjoying a nice cold beer in paradise and Bob Marley's 'Is This Love' sounds from the loudspeakers.
St. Barth Commuter, Cessna 208 F-OSBC, is seen here landing on a cloudy morning.
Morning arrival over Maho Beach.
It has been clouded all morning.
Leeward Islands Air Transport Services from Antigua, on final for runway 10.
Turning onto short finals in this Winair Twin-Otter. The first officers hand is most probably on the roof mounted throttle control.
Latest Metar: TNCM 260700Z 0500KT 9999 SCT017 24/22 Q1016.
PJ-WIP has been named Freddy Johnsen, in honor of one of Winair's pioneers. Freddy was the General Sales Agent of Winair in Saba, until he passed away.
Green Bird 236 from Pointe-a-Pitre, on final for runway 10.
Classic pic taken from Maho Beach. Another Green Bird is seen taxiing towards the holding point of runway 10.
Green Bird 304 departing whilst the sun is starting to hide behind a high cloud.
3S/104, SJU-SXM-DOM-FDF, entering runway 10 before departure on the second leg.
Props on and ready to go.
Lifting off runway 28, while the sun is hiding herself behind some clouds.
St. Barth Commuter is seen here arriving in the pouring rain.
St. Barth Commuter arrival from St. Jean, under not so typical Caribbean weather.
Quite an intimidating look, from this 29 year old 767.
The largest freighter to St. Maarten.
Face-to-face, before the blast in St Maarten
A classic Islander buzzing our heads.
Windward Express Airways is based at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), Sint Maarten. It provides Air Charter and cargo services throughout the Eastern Caribbean.
Windward Express operates three Britten-Norman Islanders using the STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) capabilities which is much neede for operation at short runways such as St. Barths (Saint-Barthélemy), Baillif, Le Saints and Saba.
PJ-WED is a Britten Norman BN-2A Islander-2B 26 and was build in Romania during 1982. She flew many years in Surinam for Gum Air.
It pours with rain.
St. Maarten is a paradise for all business jet lovers.
Such an awesome area to photograph.
Copa coming in low over Maho Beach in pouring rain.
Fedex Grand Caravan, during her morning cargo shuttle from San Juan.
InterCaribbean Embraer-145 kicking up a lot of water on this wet runway 10 departure.
Anguilla Air Services is a regional airline based at Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) in Anguilla.
A beautiful day for spotting.
St. Barth Commuter turning for departure back to St. Jean.
A classic SXM-Sunset-Beach-Bar shot.
Over Maho Beach for runway 10, with some storm clouds brewing.
Making a simply astoundingly low arrival to runway 10 over Maho beach.
WestJet coming in low over Maho Beach.
PJ-WIU, is named after one of the founders of the airline, Mr. Chester Whatskey.
Winair proudly displays the flag of country St. Maarten on their aircraft.
Cessna 750 Citation X, PR-JAQ, arrival from Brasil in not so typical Caribbean weather.
A 2011 build Dassault Falcon 900 EX on flare above runway 10.
This eye-catching private jet is registrated in Sint Vincent and the Grenadines
Early morning arrival of Falcon 2000, N112FJ of the JAAB Group over a still empty Maho Beach.
N773QS Bombardier Challenger 350 of NetJets is seen here crossing the fence of runway 10.
Falcon 900EX of Pro Airways is an eye-catching private jet.
JetBlue 2761 from Fort Lauderdale, on short finals in pouring rain.
A classic Trislander buzzing our heads.
Sunwing 764 from Montreal, on final for runway 10.
Although not the biggest, he was the lowest !
Just after a tropical shower pour down.
St. Barth Commuter, F-OSBH, on flare to runway 10.
Face to face picture directly from Maho Beach, St. Maarten.
Taxiing as the sun starts to hide herself behind Caribbean clouds.
LIAT early afternoon departure from St. Maarten.
Line up and wait.
Flight LI/313 to Basseterre (SKB) during line-up in a beautiful scenery.
Overview of Princess Juliana International Airport, as LIAT 313, climbs away from runway 10 for Basseterre.
Freddy Johnsen. Until he passed away, he was the General Sales Agent of Winair in Saba, his family has handled Winair since the start of the airline and still do today.
In layman's terms, Winair, with much pride, is the local airline serving St. Maarten and the surrouding region.
The Winair workers take great pride in their company's progress, their have truly built back stronger and better after the devastating hurricances Irma and Maria.
AA2312 from PHL, a milli-second away of crossing into the sunshine.
After 1.5 hour she went back to "Philly" in style!
Delta 461 from JFK crosses into the sunshine just as it passes over Maho Beach.
Biz jet getting low for the shot.
Winair will get you to your destination.
Twin-Otter PJ-WIP was delivered new Malaysia Airlines in 1983. This airframe served with the Malaysian flag carrier and its regional subsidairy's 31 years before being cancelled from Malaysian register. The aircraft was picked-up by Canadian aircraft broker Unity Group Winnipeg who sold her to Winair almost two years later.
Sharp turn to line up for departure.
Green Bird F-OIXH is ready to GO!
Delta 908 from Atlanta passing the crowd at Maho Beach.
Believe me, - One can have an excellent diner at the Royal Islander Club!
The pilots on board C-FVWA taking advantage of all 7,546ft of runway that Princess Juliana has to offer.
Back in April 1980, this Twin-Otter started her career with Brymon Airways in the UK.
Yes, St. Maarten has its own airline. PJ-SXM is one of the two Islanders in the fleet.
This 42 years old BN-2A Islander operated a long time for Maya Island Air in Belize.
Nice tail print on this BN-II Islander.
St. Maarten is a paradise for all business jet lovers.
The PW305A turbofans look huge on the sleek Learjet 60.
A friendly wave from the F/O of this Sterling Aero Learjet 60, preparing to depart St. Maarten
The lovely curves of the Learjet 60 showing, as this Sterling Aero bird lines up for departure.
Runway 10 approach.
Flight AA2478 from Charlotte (CLT) performed a nice approach on runway 10.
Ninetheen years after being delivered to American, N193AN, looks as good as new in the airline’s revamped livery.
LIAT ATR-72 inbound on short final from Beef Island.
Flight LI/343, just passing the fence of Sint Maarten, Princess Juliana Airport in bright sunshine.
St. Barth Executive late afternoon departure from St. Maarten. Nice effect on those propellers.
F-OSTB is a Pilatus PC-12/47E and operated by St. Barth Executive.
F-OSBH is seen here departing from SXM for the short 10 minute flight to St Barths.
Winair, PJ-WIQ, about to land on runway 10.
DHC-6 Twin-Otter PJ-WIQ. The aircraft first flew on November 17, 1979 as PJ-WIQ and was accepted by Deutsche Luft Transport (DLT) on December 07. This airframe enjoyed a long and various career. Next to DLT, she operated respectively for; - Skytrail in Tanzania, Winair (PJ-WIN), Unity Group, Kenn Borek Air Ltd., Planes & Parts Ltd., Air Bom (Borneo), before returning to Winair at Sint Maarten.
Steep approach to St. Maarten.
This Gulfstream G280 crosses into the sunshine just as it passes over Maho Beach.
Low arrival over Maho Beach.
This, 2015 manufactured, Gulfstream G280 is owned by Henry Crown & Company of Illinois, US.
A trio biz-jets at SXM.
N999LX is a Gulfsteam Aerospace G-V, owned by CKE Associates LLC. from Los Angeles, US.
SXM, - Island in the sun and Top favorite by the rich and shameless.
Somebody called this brand new Bombardier BD-100-1A10 a "gadget" for the rich.
V2-LIN is one of many ATR's in the LIAT fleet.
Sharp turn to line up for departure.
St. Maarten has its own airline. SXM Airways. PJ-SAB is one of two Islanders in the fleet.
Steep approach of SXM Airways Britten Norman Islander PJ-SAB to runway 10.
United 1444 from Newark, on short final for runway 10.
DL908 ATL-SXM on finals.
Over the famous Maho Beach.
N301DQ is a 12 year old Boeing 737-700.
Jet blast of departing and arriving aircraft can cause severe physical harm resulting in extreme bodily harm and/or death.
N113CS is a Gulfstream G650ER. This $ 63,- million biz-jet rolled-off the Savannah, Georgia, production-line in 2015.
This stunning Rockwell 695 JetProp 980, PR-DBR, is seen here ready to heading for Point Salines, Grenada.
N215TM is a Bombardier-700-1A11 Global 5000 and owned by TVPX Aircraft Solotions of Salt Lake City, Utah.
N215TM turning for departure back to USA.
Surely, an eye-catching private jet.
SXM, - playground of the rich and shameless.
The famous Maho beach is a great place to spot day in and day out. Taken from the Sunset Bar and Grill.
United 737 runway 28 departure.
Joon operating for Air France on the daily flight to SXM.
As you know; - The brand Joon will soon disappeared from the sky.
PV/213 from St. Jean, on final for runway 10.
WinAir ready to depart.
Winair late afternoon departure from St. Maarten. Nice effect on those propellers.
Air Century Bombardier CRJ-200ER on flare above runway 10. The aircraft is ex Atlantic Coast Airlines.
Nice Grand Caravan during a an afternoon cargo shuttle to somewhere in the paradise.
Flight BEZ/408 to San Juan (SJU) during line-up.
French West 520 from Paris-Orly, on final for runway 10.
The most popular spotting location at St. Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport is the "Maho Beach". It is located directly under the approach path of runway 10. Coordinates: 18°02'21.6"N 63°07'13.5"W.
Delta 461 from New York, on final over a packed Maho Beach.
US Big-Jet-tails can only be seen at SXM during the afternoon.
Taxi to take-off from SXM.
The lovely curves of the 757 showing as this Delta bird lines up for departure to JFK.
Delta Airlines Boeing 757 about to blast many tourists in the face with some good old exhaust!
Getting low for the shot?
Landing over Maho Beach in late afternoon sun.
Arriving over Maho Beach just prior to sunset.
Besides the well-known low level approaching jet and prop aircraft, you got several bars at the beach, of which the Sunset bar is the most famous. During the happy hour, in one of the bars, you can enjoy a live band playing the hits of the 80's, while more modern jets are blasting off runway 28 with a moderate tailwind.
This Royal Dutch Airlines Airbus 330-200, in her inimitable style, blasts into the Caribbean sky.
Beautiful Caribbean evening
Dawn lighting at Maho Beach.