Bert Pieke

Had to happen..

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Yes, I'm surprised there have not been more deaths.  Lots of injuries though and some very serious from what I have read.

 

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There are plenty of warning signs there for those who are too stupid to figure out that standing in the wake of the 240,000lbs of jet blast necessary to accelerate a 900,000lb airliner to take off speed might not be the smartest thing you could do. It's Darwin Award territory if you ask me.

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I've heard that when those people aren't at St. Maarten they're at Pamplona.

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Sorry, I've been there and you can hand out a Darwin Award, but I would give it to the island government for leaving the beach open. It's bad enough that the airport is marginally designed to legitimately handle heavies, but allowing a public beach off the end of the runway is sheer stupidity.

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I imagine that, as she was blown back, she must have tripped over the raised divider in the middle of the road and then stumbled and fell down, striking her head on the low wall separating the road from the beach.

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I'm surprised there aren't more people hit by cars.  The traffic by the fence can get a little heavy.  I was last there about three years ago.  This was a 737, too.  Still one of my favorite places....

Jeff Callender

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1 hour ago, jabloomf1230 said:

Sorry, I've been there and you can hand out a Darwin Award, but I would give it to the island government for leaving the beach open. It's bad enough that the airport is marginally designed to legitimately handle heavies, but allowing a public beach off the end of the runway is sheer stupidity.

Why does it always seem, when someone is stupid it's 'the governments' fault. Is no-one responsible for their own actions any more? Don't answer, I know what it is!

 

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32 minutes ago, jbcallender said:

  I was last there about three years ago.  Still one of my favorite places....

Jeff Callender

I travel out of the country a lot and have yet to make it to St Marteen, but is on my list. It combines two things I love, a great beach and aviation rolled into one. I'd like to make the trip over to St Barts as well. Last time I was in Puerto Rico I considered taking a quick two day trip over to St Marteen but it didn't pan out. Hopefully I'll make it there in the next year or two.

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Uh, that's not what I meant. That's is not a proper location for either the airport or the beach. I assume that the Dutch government wants to have it's cake (the airport) and eat it too (the beach). It's a question of safety. It's bad enough that Beacon Hill  Road is there also.

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The lady is from New Zealand and I can tell you she isn't getting much simpathy in New Zealand on social media here, we have blamed her for taking risks and ignoring the warning signs. 

She is probably a 1 in 1,000,000 event as probably a million people have stood there over the decades so she is the one death. They don't need to change anything, signs are there, you could die, use discretion if you must do it. 

In New Zealand tourists die every month in some sort of mishap, we don't change things here either to prevent deaths. New Zealand is an adventure play land with risks and some visitors will die. Happens all the time

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1 hour ago, jabloomf1230 said:

Sorry, I've been there and you can hand out a Darwin Award, but I would give it to the island government for leaving the beach open. It's bad enough that the airport is marginally designed to legitimately handle heavies, but allowing a public beach off the end of the runway is sheer stupidity.

Having the beach open (and standing by while people post YouTube videos and such) helps drive tourism.  It's a convenient collaboration between government and corporate (tourism and development) interests - the same dynamic that's allowed Phillipsburg to be radically overbuilt with casinos and essentially ruined.  And then, of course, the "it's the individual's responsibility" crowd comes along to sound all heroic while it helps carve out a safe space for corporations.  Follow the money - and then maybe do something to help guide people who've seen all the social media promotion and don't fully understand what risks they're taking.  Signs are all well and good.  But if it safety really matters, a barricade would leave nothing open to interpretation.

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4 minutes ago, jabloomf1230 said:

Uh, that's not what I meant. That's is not a proper location for either the airport or the beach. I assume that the Dutch government wants to have it's cake (the airport) and eat it too (the beach). It's a question of safety. It's bad enough that Beacon Hill  Road is there also.

Exactly.

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7 minutes ago, Matthew Kane said:

She is probably a 1 in 1,000,000 event as probably a million people have stood there over the decades so she is the one death.

By that logic, Princess Juliana is also an incredibly safe airport for aircraft. There's never been a big jet that has had an accident on its runway:

https://aviation-safety.net/database/airport/airport.php?id=SXM

What always come to mind when I fly as a passenger into these Caribbean airports is how Southwest Airlines handled its negotiations with FL Monroe County regarding the Key West airport. KEYW is also has one runway aligned with the prevailing wind and it's on the short side for liners like the B737. Southwest had quite a lucrative route between Tampa and Key West, but after failing to get the local government to extend the runway, Southwest just pulled out of Key West. What's interesting is that Delta still flies 737s between Hartsfield and Key West, so each airline has its own view of what is safe and what isn't.

I get it, the Caribbean islands have a limited amount of flat terrain to build airports, but the Princess Juliana situation is unique in that there's a popular public beach right off the end of the runway.

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