St Maarten beachgoers Oleg Kolisnichenko, 36, and Yuliia Nos, 25, have been criticised for performing a one-handed headstand just inches away from a low-flying cargo plane coming into land over Maho Beach.
The Dutch Caribbean island country is famous for its dangerous jet blasts.
A well-timed photograph shows the circus performing couple pulling off the acrobatic feat. Yuliia has one hand on Oleg’s head as she performs a handstand.
Her feet almost look like their touching the plane flying above as it comes into land at neighbouring Princess Juliana International Airport.
The pair had just finished a cruise at the island and wanted to take the souvenir photo.
However, the stunt has been met with much criticism from authorities as well as social media users.
St Maarten Tourist bureau director Rolando Brison described the act as “extremely dangerous.”
One person commented on the photo: “Stupidity at its finest.”
Another said on Instagram: “Extremely stupid. When the plane hits her foot she will actually never walk again. What a stupid move.”
Others, defending the couple, have pointed out that it’s due to an optical illusion that the plane seems so close to Yuliia’s feet.
Oleg told the Daily Mail that he and Yuliia, who live in Kiev and have worked together since August 2015, were never in any danger.
“We had distance between Yuliia’s feet and the airplane of around several metres. Everything was under control.”
Iuliia told News.com.au: “We absolutely love acrobatics and we like to have fun with it outside of work.
“After a few tries, we managed to perform it as the plane arrived, but we didn’t expect it to be so big and so close to us. It didn’t touch my feet but I felt so much air from the plane and I lost my balance.
“It was so much fun and exciting but it was only after I realised how dangerous it was.”
In July last year a tourist was killed on Maho beach. The 57-year-old woman was seriously injured after being blasted by a jet engine and hitting her head in the fall, according to media reports.
She died a short time later, despite paramedics trying to save her.
Last month a video emerged of a woman who was blown so strongly she was sent flying into the curb and hit her head.
There are signs in the area to warn holidaymakers against standing too close to the fence.
Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest in the Eastern Caribbean, but has a runway half the size of most international airports, explaining why people can get so close to the jet.
Source : EXPRESS