Can you imagine laying on a white sand beach or sitting under the sun relaxing to suddenly being interrupted by a jet airliner that is flying so low and close to you? For some, it’s either a fright or for others, it’s an adrenaline inducing experience. Whatever the case may be, Austrian-based photographer Josef Hoflehner’s project, entitled Jet Airliner, has made it a point to photograph these exact scenes, specifically out of the beautiful island of Sent Maarten, where overbearing and massive jet planes fly over Maho Beach daily.
Maho Beach is adjacent to the island’s Princess Juliana International Airport. The airport’s runway is shorter than your average runway, so incoming flights have no choice but to touch down on the Caribbean soil as close as possible, even if that means flying over the beach at minimal altitude. The beach is one of the only locations in the world where airplanes can be leisurely watched while in their direct flight path. With that said, many travelers specially visit Maho Beach to “plane watch.” The activity has become such a prevalent attraction to visitors all around the world that airline timetables, listed with arriving and departing flight times, can be found at surrounding restaurants and bars. Interestingly enough, one of the popular restaurants along the beach even broadcasts the radio transmissions from the incoming plane’s pilot and those in the airport’s control tower.
Hoflehner’s fantastic snapshots, some of which can be viewed below, depict the gargantuan jets on their way to landing, hovering over swimmers, windsurfers, and sunbathers alike. By checking out the beachgoers the photographer shot in his photos, one can only imagine how loud the sounds of the planes are and how strong the gusty jet flows are.