Planespotting in Saint Martin

Aside from being one of the smallest islands divided among two nations (France and Netherlands), Saint Martin is a Caribbean hotspot known for its nightlife, exotic hotels, nude beaches, and planespotting population. Wait — one of those doesn’t quite fit. Planespotting?

Maho Beach — located on the western coast of Saint Martin — is situated at the end of the main runway at Princess Juliana International Airport, and planespotters and tourists alike flock to this thin strip of sand to get up close and personal with a jumbo jet in midair.

YouTube has a host of amateur videos, and I’ve scoured through the lot to find the cream of the crop. Have a look, after the jump:

Here’s a 747-400 flying over Maho Beach — it almost seems that anyone with a decent vertical leap could grab onto the wheel for a free ride to the airport.
Here’s that same plane from a different prospective.
…and a shot of some tourists getting sandblasted by the jetwash.
Here’s a view from the cockpit on arrival – it gives you a good idea of just how close the runway is to the beach. Note: there’s a naked mannequin at the end of this one, which may be NSFW.