A St. Barts tourist was hoping to get a close-up shot of landing planes. But not this close.
Amateur photographer Mekki Jaidi was on vacation last Wednesday in the Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy when he decided to head to a plane-spotting area famous for its nerve-wrackingly low plane descents.
That’s when one small aircraft got a little too low and grazed him.
A videographer who happened to be nearby testing out his 360-degree camera captured the scary moment when the plane swooped over Jaidi’s ducked head, narrowly avoiding a full collision.
Left with a black mark from the plane’s wheels touching his trigger finger, Jaidi told CNN he “felt something briefly but no pain at all.”
Because he was looking through the viewfinder, he didn’t realize just how low the plane was flying — until the very last second.
The plane seemed to be struggling with the approach to the island’s Gustaf III airport — known as one of the most challenging in the world. It requires pilots to navigate a steep descent to land and departing planes take off mere meters above sunbathers on the beach.
After the plane missed him, the pilot reportedly aborted his second landing attempt before finally succeeding on the third.
Although he’s received some flack for being in danger’s way, Jaidi said that he was on a public road where many people gather to photograph aircraft and the plane’s path was abnormally low.
“People are forgetting the videographer person was doing the exact same thing as me,” he said. “I was literally a foot or two to the right of him while my wife was also a foot or two away. I wasn’t doing anything wrong on a public road.”
“Who would you put at fault for that particular location? The pilot or the people who have a right of way?
“You could tell me my life was in danger, but did I feel like it was? No. I wasn’t hurt at all,” he said.