A couple weeks back I was treated to a spectacular day of flying. I was part of a group hosted by Winair and SXM Airport in St. Maarten on a day trip to St. Barth’s.
The landing at St. Barth’s is spectacular, with a hill and traffic circle just in front of the business end of the runway and surrounded on both sides by peaks which cause the winds to swirl. The landing requires special training for the pilots. The approach involves a significant down angle on the nose even as the plane flies mostly level, allowing for the rapid descent at the very end. It is all sorts of spectacular.
And then, after a day of meetings on St. Barth’s (the most lengthy of which was a well lubricated lunch), we climbed back on to the Winair Twin Otter and headed back to St. Maarten to wrap up the day.
The pilots were spectacularly friendly in both directions, allowing me to mount a camera in the forward window for a pilot’s eye view of the two famous approaches. And the videos turned out great. At least I think so.
Late last year I also flew similar segments but to Saba instead of St. Barth’s. In retrospect I should’ve asked to mount my camera up front on those, too.
- Friday Flyday: Island hopping in the Caribbean
- Friday Flyday: Landing on the world’s shortest runway
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