The terminal is a bit dated, but its soothing pastel colors welcome you to the island. Inside the terminal is a maze of odd security lines, customs, immigration and airline ticket counters. General aviation services were provided for us by a handler who breezed us in and out through security without a second glance.
In typical island fashion, the afternoon often brings rain showers through the area. Fortunately these storms only last 20 minutes or so since the airport has very high approach minimums for the instrument approaches (4500 meter visibility requirement or nearly 3 miles) due to the sharply rising terrain off the departure end of runway 09.
Departures (as well as missed approaches) are usually instructed to make an immediate left or right turn to avoid the high terrain east of the airfield. In addition to obstacle and terrain avoidance the goal is to get the aircraft out over open water as quickly as possible for noise abatement.
After the right 180 degree turn back to the west Simpson Bay is off our left wing.
FSX does a great job of capturing the feel and environment of St. Maarten and the surrounding islands. Granted, there are small items that FSX doesn’t model, but FSX is going to cover the entire world, I think we can assume that they aren’t going to model every location to exacting detail. For that, I think we will always look to quality add-on scenery and aircraft designers. From what I’ve seen of FSX thus far, I’ll be purchasing it, and looking forward to the improvements from the early demo to the final product.
Reviewer’s System Specs
- Alienware Pentium 4, 3.4GHz
- 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT PCI Express 256MB
- Saitek X52 and CH Pro Pedals
Note: For illustrative purposes some of the images in this review were cropped in order to highlight certain aspects of the software.
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