How To Properly Depart TNCM (St. Maarten)

As I’m tying this I’m currently sitting at TNCM and watching people arrive/depart in the sim. Its just a pet peeve of mine when I see people try to climb over the huge mountain at the end of rwy 10. I understand that not everyone has been there but I just thought I’d share to the community that this is not how to properly depart the airport. Yes, its possible to climb over the terrain but for those who want the true feeling of departing from Princess Julianna Int’l then this shouldn’t be done.

From my personal experiences there (multiple times) it seems that all jets including airliners make a fairly sharp right turn a couple hundred feet after taking off. After the turn they can either go around the terrain from the back (like the Air France A340 does) and continue North or continue their departure route to the south, east, west.

For other aircraft including small turbo props and other single engines I have seen them both immediately turn left over the lagoon or make that right turn out over the bay.

I’ve included some very outdated but relevant departure plates (I couldn’t find any current ones) via Vatsim that should help give you guys a better idea of what I’m talking about along with a good ole Just Planes video of an airliner departing. Please let me know if this helps you guys feel more like you’re at piloting an aircraft out of TNCM!

I didn’t include the procedures for departing 28 because I simply couldn’t find any but for now that’s sort of irrelevant in IF.


Change it to #real-world-aviation category. :)


Just use SID/STAR charts :) That’s what I do


Yes I already linked the same ones in the post above.

This is related to Infinite Flight so I think it should stay in General for now

It’s more related to real world aviation as this is how aircraft depart in real life too. I found it interesting how many tire marks are on that runway!

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Very helpful!.. 😃👍👌

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Yes, yes yes! I was in TNCM IRL last week and every aircraft, no matter what it’s route, executed a right turn.


People who have never been there don’t comprehend how big that mountainside is in real life so in the sim it seems fine to just climb over it.


That is an issue with IF where pilots (and ATC) don’t study the charts for the airfields and do some interesting approach’s and departures.

PHTO , Straight out on 26 over the Volcano??? Also same reverse for landing on 08…KASE 15 dep into mountain…just two examples!


I agree. There’s only so much you can do on live because I guess it has to be somewhat standardized since everyone can’t know everything. Oh well, at least you can get extremely proficient at ILS approaches lol.

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@Chad_Garnett… “Well Done”. Great primer and intro to the Fledglings to Approach & Departure Plates. Your Jepp’s example is worth 1000 words.
I get my RW Charts & Plates free from “”. Regards All, Max



Notice how the departure is over some of the hills. While you are taking off to avoid the mountains directly in front you should not be rolling the aircraft beyond its flight envelope. That means holding a 25-30 degree roll until you are lined up with your SID or at 4000 feet (outside of the airport’s airspace). Once you are there then you can continue on your pre planned FPL route.


Right, pretty much just trying to avoid the mountain directly in front of you on the runway heading. A climbing right turn to the right over the bay should be appropriate. It’s similar to departing KEGE.

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