This 757’s Last Second Aborted Landing In St. Martin Is Super Nerve-Wracking

Princess Juliana International airport on St. Martin is among the most famous in the world. It is a Mecca for aviation nerds who can wade into the waters off Maho Beach as wide-body airlines scream just feet overhead on final to the airport’s single runway. Some of the best aviation images are taken here and if you are really brave—or stupid depending on how you look at it—you can try to hang onto the airport’s perimeter fence while being blasted by jet engines spooling-up for takeoff. But bad weather usually doesn’t come to mind when you think of the Carribean island paradise, yet it certainly does occur. The 757 in the clip below encountered just that while attempting to land there. 

As you can see in the video below, the jet approaches the runway under poor visibility and heavy rain and begins a nasty wing drop and begins to sink just as it passes high over the fenceline. It then powers up and goes around, seemingly at the last possible moment. 

Here is a direct link to the twitter clip if it doesn’t propagate automatically below:

Here’s are some clips of what normal 757 operations at the airport should look like:

Princess Juliana International is already tricky to operate out of with its tight confines and the close proximity of the runway’s edge to a major roadway and beach area, but bad weather certainly makes it all that much more challenging. 

Above all else, the video is a reminder of how pilots earn every cent of their paychecks!

UPDATE: 7:50pm PDT—

Here is a better quality clip of the go-around.

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Tyler Rogoway


Tyler’s passion is the study of military technology, strategy, and foreign policy and he has fostered a dominant voice on those topics in the defense media space. He was the creator of the hugely popular defense site Foxtrot Alpha before developing The War Zone.