WestJet says one of its planes flying from Toronto to St. Maarten did not almost crash into the ocean, as speculated in an amateur video taken of the landing.
Flight 2652 from Toronto was trying to land at Princess Juliana International Airport, near Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, on March 7. The video was captured by plane spotters at the beach.
With the airport so close to the resort, planes often make a low landing in the area since Maho Beach is located in front of the runway. But the video questions how close the plane came to the water as it attempted to make the first of two landing attempts.
Watch the video below via ATCpilot on YouTube, or click here to watch it.
“Only a few feet missing and the Boeingjet from Toronto could have crashed into the water,” the description on the YouTube video states.
The WestJet plane made a second approach and touched down safely.
In a statement, WestJet said the plane did not come close to crashing in the ocean in the first landing attempt, saying it was a “missed approach (go around)” and not a near crash.
“Video and photos of the missed approached spawned articles with unfortunate and frankly, irresponsible headlines such as, ‘Near Miss’ and ‘WestJet denies close call caught on camera at St. Maarten,’ with some even speculating on a potential disaster that was averted,” the statement reads.
“We think it’s important to share with you what a missed approach means and how this ‘near miss’ was anything but.”
Westjet said the first landing approach was abandoned due to changing weather and not, as some speculated, because the plane was at risk of hitting the water.