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This MD-80's Takeoff From St. Maarten Island Is Absolutely Nuts

Usually, departures occur in the opposite direction, toward the cliffs, so videos like this are somewhat rare. ( More...

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James Hollich 5
Awesome! Glad he got the main gear up before the fence!
sparkie624 7
Neat run, but not as "Nuts" as it looks.
Brian Bishop 8
Notice the wake turbulence on the water.
matt jensen 1
Try landing 10 min after a heavy
Torsten Hoff 6
It seems the pilot wanted to give the crowd a good show, the gear was nearly completely retracted so he hadn't just lifted off the runway.
Dave Mathes -2
....yeah, I was a little surprised to see the gear already folding....just another day of sensationalism...
Buzz Schranz 2
The video may be "rare" but probably the wind was as well that day. Having flown 757s into SXM over a hundred times, only two takeoffs were on RW 28.
Gee EmCee 1
I've never been there, but looking at the airport info, wasn't this a takeoff from rnway 10... and must have been early morning due to sun's position on horizon?
Buzz Schranz 1
No. Take off over the beach is RW 28.
Gee EmCee 2
D'oh! Yes, of course. Thanks. So considering the relatively short runway, and presumably long flight, this was a routine takeoff, with a screen height of 35 feet at some point along the TODA. It doesn't necessarily look like 35 feet in the video but that's possibly due to the wide angle lens, or a slightly "less-than-certification" rotation rate, or ...?. Impressive.

I used to operate in and out of Montego Bay a lot. The young men of the area used to stand on the seawall just outside the razor wire at the button of the runway, and allow the takeoff thrust to blow them backwards into the ocean. I must search youtube to see if anyone's ever posted videos of that. Cheers, Grant.
The reason the gear went up so fast was so it would not scrape off any sun hats..
Navy65 2
SO WHAT?!?! The plane was likely heavy and did not want to take off towards mountains. The wind must have not been a factor as the PIC made his decision which way to depart. Who writes drivel such as "absolutely nuts"??? Worse, what editor allows drivel to be published?
Eric Schmaltz 1
The headline made you click on it didn't it? Pretty impressive video regardless of what "experts" like you think. Thanks for the comment though...
James Derry 1
agree completely….too much sensationalism in the headlines!
Dave Mathes 1
....Oh, oh, wait....Addendum to the headlines...'Aircraft pulls gear early to avoid fence on departure, PIC says in exclusive interview "I knew I barely had enough clearance to put on a good show for the crowd" that's sensationalism!
Beatiful island . I visit in 1.981
Try this one from my previous company in SKSM (Santa Marta), Colombia Runway Ident: 19 /01
Runway Length: 5577 feet. My line check as a captain was there in a MD83 with 160000 pounds, really amazing
Doug Zalud 1
I thought it was a "fun" video, not sensational.

It's always cool to see that angle of something coming right at you.
jrollf -1
The wide angle, almost fisheye lens exaggerates the proportions of objects making the airplane look lower than it is. Neat video, however no story here.
hwh888 0
GA pilots do that all the time into St. Bart's.
They'll take the tail wind rather then the mountain approach.
CDBrozovich 0
All this talk of "sensationalism" ... why can't there be more love for the flying aspect and not so much chatter about this risk or that? Has everyone forgot that most important ingredient to flying second only to safety?

My first flight instructor stopped me mid-stride to our little 152 with our headsets and charts in hand and said, "Let's get this straight, with all preparation being a given, if we ever stop having fun, let's solemnly agree to stop flying! I smiled back at him and wholeheartedly gave him my word.

To this day... I have never stopped having fun.
Victor Engel 0
The wide angle lens helped the scene seem more extreme than it was. Just look at the perspective on the still, for example.


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