Jet blasts woman to her death in St. Maarten

A330 landing at St. Maarten
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The popular plane-spotting activity at Princess Juliana Airport on the island of St Maarten has become deadly after it took the life of a 57-year-old female tourist from New Zealand on Wednesday afternoon.

The jet blast from a departing Boeing 737 operated by Caribbean Airlines knocked her over while she was standing near the fence at the end of the runway. She sustained head injuries and was taken to hospital where she later died.

The approach end of the St Maarten airport is very popular for spectators who flock the location where there is also a public beach nearby.

Despite signs warning people of the danger, tourists and airplane enthusiasts flock to take photos and record videos of the low approaching and departing planes.

This incident is the first aviation-related death at the site often referred to as Av Geek Mecca.

A YouTube video shows a young woman in 2012 who was seriously injured when she was thrown against a concrete barrier by the blast of an airplane.

Photo: By Timo Breidenstein, via Wikimedia Commons

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About: Wayne Farley

Wayne Farley is a safety evangelist who has 30 years of experience in the aviation industry with many of those years spent as an air traffic controller in aerodrome, approach and area facilities. He is an aviation enthusiast and maintains an active blog.

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