St. Maarten Airport

Landing – This one is a little close to the end of the runway.

This one is close too.

Takeoff – Notice the fence is bent from gawkers hanging on to it.

  1. bobbo says:

    15–Correct. No ILS. That was back in 19 and 73 so things must have improved? There was a VOR with a swinging needle with an outer marker and that was it.

    I have a total of 5 war stories. Will inject them only when tangentially relevant?

  2. bobbo says:

    18–Another great video. I noticed he was in a bit of a crab when he touched down, so its windy too?

  3. Frank IBC says:

    By “in a crab”, do you mean that the plane was slightly askew to the runway when it touched down? I was guessing it was windy, too.

  4. Phillip Wade says:

    Hadn’t been there in almost 40 years but Goose Bay, Labrador used to be interesting. The runway was built between the plateau and the ocean, so you had to lose about 2500 feet in less than 3 miles to land. First time, I thought I was dead for sure! San Diego is fun too

  5. Frank IBC says:

    Hey, I was right about the runway at Tegucigalpa Airport.

    The runway here in TGU is very short compared with many runways in other countries. It is the second smallest international airport in the world. The actual length of the runway is 6,132 feet (1869 m).

    Wow, that’s actually shorter than the runway at my home airport, Washington (Reagan) National, which is 6,869 feet (2,094 m). Brrrr.

  6. bobbo says:

    23–Yes, thats a crab. Actually strong crosswinds are relatively “easy” to handle, its the variable direction, and worse yet, the gusts that can kill you. Small aircraft are built to land in a crab. The structure of large aircraft makes the landing gear subject to failure if the side forces/shear are too great such as experienced when landing in a crab==so the procedure is to land “wing low” by applying rudder to line up the aircraft and cross ailerons to prevent drifting.

    I was ordered once to land at Andrews AFB with strong gusting winds 90 degrees to the runway. I reported that the gusts (over 50 mph) where outside the range of my aircraft. The tower responded to “land inbetween the gusts.” Well, I have called BS before, but I was intrigued—can I get this beast down???????

    So, I lined up using maximum asymetrical control and was doing ok, but the aircraft was drifting slightly. I guess the landing charts are correct, 50 mph was the max! What to do????????

    ———scroll down for those interested———-

    ——–and yes I apologize—————-

    ——–This is War Story No 2————

    So, the only thing left was to use asymetrical engine power and that did indeed work. Once on the ground we taxied in and stopped and the plane was immediately unloaded. I asked the loadmaster how he got the cargo off so quickly and he asked what I meant. We were just parked. The aircraft was being buffeted around like I had never experienced, while parked!

    I could have died. Not that big a deal, but I would have taken my crew with me. I swore never to show off again – - – and I never did. That lead to War Stories 3 & 4 for another day.

  7. BubbaRay says:

    #26, Ah, such a late post no one will read it anyway. Bobbo, it’s alway fun to emergency land an 800 lb. taildragger that runs out of rudder at 30 kts. in a 35-40 kt. crosswind. Nothing you can do but head out into the grass as the airspeed dies off. Watch out for those runway lights. And taxiing? Nah, just shut her down in the field and call for a tow and two really big guys to help hold down the wings.

  8. RBG says:

    Can I use that next time I’m in a bar full of ladies?

    When I have a dinky 172 on final in a crabbed configuration, normally I would swing the aircraft parallel to the runway at the very last moment.

    Not too many war stories here.

    Once had a coyote run out of the bush and chase the tire as I was on the roll for take-off.

    Dumbest Moment: Low time, landing a 152 at an Int’l airport. Taking my sweet time and causing a heavy to have to do a last minute go-around. Geez, I’m sorry….

    Weirdest moment. On a night final, a bird flying straight at the aircraft somehow flits over the prop and bounces off the top of the cabin.

    Weird moment #2: Passenger pees into a coke bottle and drops it onto a farmer’s field.

    Is This Nuts Or What Moment: Solo spin practices (Canada) with only 17 hours of flight time.

    Most Exhilarating Moment: Probably night flights over the big city & subsequent landings.

    Most dangerous Moment: Seeing the face of the other pilot as we both cross the VOR at the same time.


  9. bobbo says:

    27-28 Its never too late. “Recall em while you can!” Use em as you wish, but only the rare lady enjoys a good war story. Tell her instead how you flew over a meadow and the field of yellow poppies were in the shape of a heart, and you turned the airplane around to be with her.

    ((Ha, ha, I crack myself up!)) If she is real stupid, say the flowers spelled her name!! That one can work on a real smart gal too if she knows you are full of shit and having fun.

    Life offers Lots of “incidents”. Hopefully we can learn from them all.

  10. Frank IBC says:

    I was in Bolivia on May 24, hhopper. :)

  11. mark says:

    One think I loved about landing in St Barths, French West Indies (an extreme landing to say the least) is at the end of the runway, is a nude beach, so after a death defying land, the treat, and a great bar as you step off the plane.

  12. Frank IBC says:

    St. Barth’s airport requries a STOL, IIRC.

  13. BubbaRay says:

    Yay, I get the final post that no one will ever read! Doesn’t anyone use a “slip” in a crosswind (or too high an altitude on final) to land an airplane anymore? Sure, it freaks out the passengers (bottoms tend to slide in the seats), but it’s a proven technique to land even a light twin (King Air) in a really bad crosswind. Works every time. Once you get all three wheels down, it’s the rudder (or asymmetrical thrust) that dictates whether or not you can keep the craft on the runway.

  14. hhopper says:

    Hey, I read it.

  15. beingboring says:

    I would kill to lie on this beach :-)

  16. naseem says:

    its not a joke my friend .its to much dangerous for the human being .

  17. Deidre Leslie says:

    these people are crazy!!!! My gosh they saw the plane turning and they just stood there. Very fascinating though. lol

  18. Ryan says:

    they should close that runway for landing

  19. hidy says:

    from sxm dont leave the any more but that’s whats makes the airport unique its always fun to go back.PLEASE DON,T CHANGE IT.A UNIQUE COUNTRY ,PEOPLE AND AIRPORT