It's called Maho Beach. It's legendary among aviation buffs. I've been there all 4 times we've stopped in St. Maarten. It's a nice little beach and the Sunset Beach bar (check out their website) has some of the best wood grilled cheesebugers I've ever had. Or maybe it's the atmosphere. Anyway, most the landings take place in the afternoon. It's quite an experience to have a wide body jet fly over you at about 50 feet. As for standing behind during takeoffs, that just strikes me as insane. The distance you are behind the airplane is called the extreme danger jet blast zone in most airplane manuals. Plus, it's blowing sand (can somebody say sand blast paint,er...skin removal?) That being said, watching other people do it has been extremely funny. I love the bar, though you might see a few snapshots of topless people on the open door panels if you look up. We're planning to go to island directly instead of by ship so we can hang out at the bar for a few days and see more of the island. Easy cab ride over there. And don't forget to order an Amstel Bright (yes, I meant Bright, not Light). Only available in the islands.
To see what this place is all about, try this link:
In the Country/Airport box, scroll down to Netherlands Antilles, the choose Philipsburg/St. maarten, and take a look. It's crazy.