One of my biggest and most breathtaking moments at Maho Beach was standing directly in the path of an oncoming Boeing 747-400 as it came in to land at Princess Juliana International Airport. I prefer to line myself up with the middle of the runway and stand facing the airplane as it flies directly at me. I get chills just thinking about it.
So, the other day when I came across the video below, I knew I had to share it. It’s a production that was put together by KLM which shows highlights of the journey of one 747-400 as it makes it’s way on the 4,957 mile trek from Amsterdam to Sint Maarten.
The runway at SXM presents a unique challenge for the pilots. The length of the runway stands at 7,545 feet, leaving very little room for error. At the maximum landing weight for a 747-400 of 630,000 pounds (85% maximum payload and 30% maximum fuel), that would require 6,900 feet to land. Of course, the pilots and airline manage the weight load and weight distribution in order to minimize the maximum landing distance when coming in to SXM.
In the video below, you’ll hear the pilots talk about their preparations as they come in to land. It’s a pretty cool look at one incredible aircraft coming in to land at the greatest airport in the world. Enjoy!