As a matter of fact, even though this picture appears to be a huge commercial aircraft coming in for a crash landing on a crowded beach, the picture (and the ones below) is 100% real and the plane is operating exactly as it has been instructed. The beach, a favorite with tourists, is located on the Caribbean Island of Saint Martin and is known as Maho Beach. The Princess Juliana International Airport is located adjacent to Maho beach and with Runway #10 (which stretches across the narrow island) being so short, the end of the runway joins the beachfront requiring planes to approach and takeoff at very low altitude – just feet above people’s heads. Signs placed along the beach (yes, the area is a favorite for recreational plane spotters) warn tourists about the risk of being blown into the waters by jet exhaust. Police stop traffic along the beachfront road when planes are approaching and no-parking areas insure cars parked underneath are not blown over by the high winds.
Watching airliners pass over Maho Beach is such a popular activity that the daily arrivals and departures airline timetables are displayed on an announcement board in most bars and restaurants located along the beach. The nearby Sunset Beach Bar and Grill even has a speaker on its outside deck that broadcasts the radio transmissions between pilots and the airport’s control tower as the approach.
Check out the insane pictures of planes skimming above tourists heads at Maho Beach.