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At small, fogged-in Desert Airport at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, the crew is working hard to land a plane piloted by Joe Barnes, but the plane crashes and he dies in the flames. While the crew rushes to salvage what they can from the load of mail on the plane, pilot Mike Miller consoles Barnes' sister and his own girlfriend, Ruth. The pilots of the air mail service fly in dangerous weather, for low pay, to deliver the mail on time. When one dies, Mike, as the head pilot, traditionally flies the next delivery. Barnes is replaced by Duke Talbot, a good but reckless pilot who is also a real ladies' man. Talbot starts an affair with Irene, the bored wife of pilot Dizzy Wilkins. During the Christmas rush, Dizzy crashes in a particularly bad snow storm and without waiting a respectful interval, Irene runs off with Talbot. Having lost two other pilots, Mike has no choice but to take the next run himself, even though he has been warned that his eyes are no longer good enough for bad weather flying. He too crashes during the storm and although he is still alive, he has crashed in an inaccessible area. Duke hears the announcement of Mike's crash over the radio, and scorns the idea that a good pilot can't reach Mike. He races to the airport, steals a plane and lands it right next to the crash site. The plane is damaged in landing, however, and as they approach the airfield, it's clear that the plane will crash. Duke dumps Mike out of the plane, but Duke goes down with it. The ground crew pulls him from the plane, badly wounded but alive.