Most people have seen the low approaches and pictures and video posted on the internet from Maho Beach . This webpage shows what happens when aircraft takeoff from St Maatten (SXM) International Airport. Hundreds of tourist line the end of the runway for a chance to get jet and sand blasted by commercial aircraft including 747’s. This is generally only done once as tourist experience and pain and power from the commercial jet engines at full throttle during take off.
Daily flight schedules posted at beachfront Sunset Bar & Grill, great place to enjoy an ice cold drink and watch the aircraft and crazy tourist get jet blasted!
The Insel Air MD80 above did a full "back" taxi putting its engines almost over the end of the runway before beginning its takeoff roll. Notice the tourist in the photos bracing themselves for the oncoming jet blast. After takeoff the brave tourist appeared to be sunburn however they were not red from the sun but red from the impact of the sand at the end of the runway.
American Airlines 757 preparing for takeoff along with a crowd of onlookers trying to “hang on” during takeoff.
Continental / United Boeing 737-700 preparing for takeoff.
KLM Boeing 747 on taxi for takeoff. The aircraft is so big that the normal St Maarten taxiway could not accommodate the aircraft. The 747 did a back taxi down the center of the runway and a U turn to position for takeoff. Due to the short runway and heavy fuel load, the 747 flies to another close airport prior to flying transatlantic back to Amsterdam.