It's on the bucket list of many an aviation nerd and even those of us who think it's just pretty cool, but Sint Maarten's Maho Beach, where planes land and takeoff just metres above you, is dangerous.
This week, a 57 year old woman from New Zealand was killed here when the force from the jet blast of a plane knocked her back onto the pavement, causing fatal injuries.
According to a statement from local police, the woman and several other people had been holding on to a fence along the perimeter of the runway, which is reportedly less than 200 feet from the beach. Standing here allows tourists to experience the jet blast of aircraft overhead and is a popular tourist activity on the island, police said — one that they called "extremely dangerous”.
"Many people come just for the thrill of this main attraction, and unfortunately this time someone lost their life," a police spokesperson told NBC Miami.
The dpokedperson said that despite this being the first time someone has died from this activity, the area is scattered with multiple warning signs to discourage tourists. However, these signs are frequently ignored, resulting in injuries caused by the strong jet blasts.
The island's tourism director, Rolando Brison, told the New Zealand Herald he had spoken to the family of the woman.
"I met with the family of the deceased this evening and while they recognised that what they did was wrong, through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that risk they took turned out in the worst possible way," he said.