Watch: Chills and Thrills – Journey of a KLM 747-400 From Amsterdam to Sint Maarten

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!

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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