[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Jeffrey Cook (ABC News) reports that “one of the world’s scariest landings” will no longer take place in St. Maarten:
For 26 years, a tropical paradise has been home to one of the world’s scariest and most exhilarating landings in the world. Today, that era came to an end. The last KLM Boeing 747 touched down in St. Maarten at 11:03 a.m. ET today.
Since 1990, Dutch airline KLM has served beach goers hair-raising landings as their jumbo jets soared at low altitudes over the sandy coast and onto the runways at Princess Juliana International Airport.
Going forward, the route to St. Maarten will be served by Airbus A330s, seating 243 passengers, as oppose to the 408 passengers that fit into the Boeing 747.
The flight from Amsterdam used to make a stop to drop off passengers in Curacao in addition to St. Maarten. KLM will now fly three direct flights a week from Amsterdam to St. Maarten and seven to Curacao.
Aviation enthusiasts have dubbed the experience as one of the world’s scariest landings and will certainly be lamenting the end of an era.
For original article, see http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/jumbo-jet-makes-run-worlds-scariest-landing-st/story?id=43134296
Also see: “KLM pilot: St. Maarten landing iconic approach” (The Daily Herald, October 29, 2016) at https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/61258-klm-pilot-st-maarten-landing-iconic-approach; “Boeing 747s Will No Longer Make the World’s Scariest Landing” (Popular Mechanics, October 28, 2016) at http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a23599/boeing-747-st-maarten-landing; and “Jumbo Jets Will No Longer Land at This Famous Beach Runway” (Travel and Leisure, October 27, 2016) at http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-trends/jumbo-jets-maarten-maho-runway
See earlier posts: https://repeatingislands.com/2013/08/11/bermuda-and-sint-maarten-on-15-really-strange-beaches-list; https://repeatingislands.com/2013/01/30/heavenly-descents-travellers-top-10-air-approaches-2013-includes-three-caribbean-airports; and https://repeatingislands.com/2011/05/18/maho-beach-the-world%e2%80%99s-least-relaxing-seafront