WestJet 737 Almost Misses the Runway at Maho Beach

Mar 13, 2017

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St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) is known to AvGeeks as one of the best places in the world for plane spotting. Maho Beach is just steps away from the runway, and beachgoers can watch as the giant metal birds pass right over their heads before landing at the airport. But, this also means that the landing can be tricky for pilots.

Last week, an incoming WestJet Boeing 737 narrowly avoided a disastrous encounter with the water while making its approach into SXM. WestJet Flight 2652 was on its way to the island from Toronto (YYZ). The flight left on time, but when the aircraft made its first approach into the airport, it came too close to the ocean below it.

About 45 minutes after its first attempt, the aircraft successfully landed at SXM on its second attempt. The flight landed 38 minutes after its scheduled arrival time.

The entire incident was caught on video. You can watch it below:

A spokeswoman from WestJet told Christine Negroni, “According to the information I have been given there was nothing unusual about the first approach.” But, the video seems to show otherwise, as the plane came very close to the water, and was forced to pull up.

There may have been other factors at play during the first approach, like wind shear that could have thrown off the landing. Thankfully, no one was harmed and the plane safely landed as SXM on the second attempt But, surely the experience would have been scary if you were a passenger on the 168-seat 737 — even more so now that we can see just how close the plane got to the water.

Featured image courtesy of HawkeyePilot via Getty Images.

H/T: The Telegraph

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