While I was away in the Caribbean for the month of August on a journey to find stories of the islands to film, in my eyes I became an expert at landing in St. Martin (SXM), the hub in the caribbean. By my fifth flight back and forth to various islands in just three weeks, I knew exactly which side of the plane to sit on and which seat was best for the type of photo or film clip I was trying to capture. I even knew some of the pilots by name! That’s Amber to the right…
A little backstory on me and aviation…I’m used to small planes. My grandfather is a pilot: he has his own four seater plane and shares a grass landing strip with his neighbors in Illinois. I’m also used to flying small because I live on an island myself use the eight seater single props – except for than one time we crashed in Hyannis. That’s probably not on my most fun adventure list.
Kristen’s First Crash
When I think of Saba, the tiny Dutch island, the popular quote ‘It’s not the destination, it’s the journey’ pops into my head. With Saba, it’s both and getting to this Dutch Caribbean island is a bucket lister you’ll love to cross off.
Since Saba boasts the worlds shortest commercial runway, I was so excited to experience this mini 12 minute adventure. The morning of, I packed my bags, hopped in a taxi, then prepared to taxi the runway for takeoff. When I checked in, the airport felt like a ghost town (note to Caribbean travelers-8 am on a Sunday in the offseason is an easy breezy travel time). After I made my way to the gate with my boarding pass, I was informed I was the only passenger on the flight. I had an entire plane to myself and I was going to land on the worlds shortest runway.For filming, this could not have been better news!
Turns out the flight was more graceful and beautiful like rather than scary or nerve wracking. My Winairflight was unbelievably smooth and only a short twelve minutes from takeoff to landing. With not much room for error, I can only imagine how skilled and precise the pilots must maneuver the aircraft on a windy day to make an A+ landing.