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Thursday, November 24, 2016

The "One Last Time. Gonna Miss It! Story

Bathers and spectators await the KLM 747 for the last time.
This photo was taken from MahoBeachCam.com.  Check it out.
It was an ordinary day.  Checking out the latest YouTube videos featuring the final landing of the KLM 747 landing at Sint Maarten's Princess Juliana Airport.  The 747 had flown that route since 1990 from the Netherlands, landing on the airport's runway which is directly behind Maho Beach on the island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin.  
My photo from 2004.
Carol and I have been visiting the island for close to fifteen years now and just love making a visit to the Sunset Beach Bar, recently renamed Sunset Bar and Grill, to watch the planes land about 100 feet or less above the bathers on the beach below them.  I must have taken hundreds of photos of planes landing and love when the sky blue colored double-decker, four engine behometh lands on Runway 12.
Ready to take-off for the final time.  This is also a
shot from MahoBeachCam.com.   Check it out.
 Not going to happen anymore since the final flight KL 784 landed in Sint Maarten at 10:55 am on October 28.  Now the flights will be operated by the smaller, but still pretty neat, Airbus A330.  I'm going miss that beautiful sight emerging through the clouds, but the flights were changed to cut the arrival times.  
And, one final shot from the beach cam.  This shows the
people being blown away from the jet blast of the KLM
as it powers up for its last takeoff.
In the past the plane would fly from Amsterdam, make a stop in Curacao and then to Sint Maarten.  Now each location will have a flight of its own.  The landing has been rated as one of the scariest of any airport in the world.  The pilots can actually see the eyes of the spectators, some with cameras in hand, as they fly just above their heads before landing on the end of the runway.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.











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