The Insanity of Jet Blasts at SXM Maho Beach

Only in Saint Martin can you swim on a beach where¬†massive jets fly overhead seemingly within reach of your very own hands. Yesterday morning, I traveled over to Maho Beach, the section of beach located¬†directly behind the short runway at SXM: Saint Martin’s airport.


Upon arrival, the first sign we were greeted with¬†was the one everyone sees all over TripAdvisor before booking a trip to the island. It reads, “Jet blast of departing and arriving aircraft can cause severe physical harm resulting in extreme bodily harm and/or death.”


Maho beach could not possibly be lined with any more warnings and signs about the dangers of planes taking off and landing so close by. Despite these cautionary signs, whenever a plane is¬†within sight, people all over the beach¬†would run over to the fence in the photograph¬†above, grab on with both hands, and prepare to be blasted with strong¬†winds. And when I say “strong,” that is truly an understatement.


Every 20 minutes or so, another plane would be overhead. The three¬†most impressive plane landings to witness were the KLM, Pawa Dominicana, and the InselAir. I took a few videos of the landings that I will eventually upload to my YouTube. As for takeoffs, to my¬†surprise, the KLM (photographed above) was nothing¬†to brag about. The InselAir, however, was¬†insane.¬†I literally thought I was going to die and I’m not even exaggerating.


People were blown into the water as the jets kicked in. My sisters feet lifted off the floor. My dad broke a blood vessel in his eye. My face was burning from the heat being blown at us. I heard glass shatter and all I could imagine was my sunglasses shattering and having the glass fragments blown into my eye. It was unbelievable what we experienced. Unimaginable. It was scary. I pretty much regretted it almost instantly.


Despite feeling like I was in extreme danger, in hindsight, I no longer regret standing behind the airplanes during takeoff. (Did I really just say that?) The energy and hype surrounding Maho Beach and the airplanes was crazy. People were getting so pumped up about the incoming flights and outgoing jet blasts. I am happy to have experienced both and lived to tell the tale.

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