“Gotcha.” The other pilot shut the cockpit, and dashed back to his own aircraft. Quickly he began marshalling the remaining passengers into the Robin. Behind Jim, the woman was seated, securing the belt firmly around herself and holding the toddler on her lap sideways, arms and legs tucked in tightly. Mercifully the child was not crying, looking around with wide terrified eyes.
“Ready and belted. I’ve got a good grip on her,” the woman said, quietly. The headset was obviously already on, settled with professional speed.
“Hold her tight,” Jim growled. This did not sit well with him, but he saw no other choice. He increased throttle and turned the aircraft, giving himself as much space as possible to take off. The crop sprayer’s limitations were cabin space rather than weight, but with an unrestrained passenger he wanted a smooth take off and as much space for error as possible. He was breaking every safety rule in the book but he could not, in conscience, leave people to burn.