Incredible footage shows the moment an Embraer plane landed on an island, leaving beachgoers gasping.
A short strip of sand is all that separates Maho Beach in the Caribbean island of St Maarten and its Princess Juliana International Airport.
So, whenever a plane is heading for the landing strip, it almost always ends in screams of fright and awe from those below.
Plans come from out over the water and fly right over the beach; they are around 20m over the tops of people’s heads, but still makes them feel the need to duck.
Footage shared to Twitter shows just how close plans get to beachgoers. Or, perhaps the other way around with people seen playing a game of chicken to get the perfect view and shot.
The slow motion clip shows holiday-makers with their phone pointing towards the sky as they watch the Empress of London City’s Embraer 190 land.
They can be seen making just enough space for the aircraft.
“Yep that was me on approach,” one woman said in response to a ‘shocked’ gif. “As for takeoff, it was like going up in a rocket.”
“Whoever built that ocean put it way to close to that airport,” another added.
Maho Beach is a popular spot for people to gather and watch departing and approaching aircraft.
When the plans depart, they do so facing the same way which means those on the beach often get blown away by the engines’ jet blast if they don’t move out of the way.
If you search ‘St Maarten jet blast’ on YouTube it will pull up plenty of footage.
“I literally thought people were [expletive] crazy for doing this!” tourist Tennille told GrindTV via Jukin Media. “I was beside myself, especially here, as it was a 747! The jet stream blows people away.”
“It was the strangest feeling; the jet stream was blowing people from the beach into the water,” Tennille said.
She said people were holding on to the fence so they wouldn’t blow away.
In 2017, a New Zealand woman died after a blast from a jet knocked her into a retaining wall.
The 57-year-old had been standing at a fence that separates Maho Beach and the runway.
At the time of the incident, the unidentified woman had been hanging onto the fence along with several others, according to a statement from the Police Force of Sint Maarten.
The police statement acknowledged that watching planes take off and land at the airport is “well known worldwide as a major tourist attraction” but notes that doing so is extremely dangerous.
Airport and local officials have posted signs along the airport’s chain-link fence, warning them of the dangers of standing there while a plane is taking off, and officers patrol the area during busy hours.
Despite that, the area is still a huge drawcard for thrillseekers and aviation enthusiasts.