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At the end of World War I, aviation aces Captain "Gibby" Gibson, Lieutenant Woody Kerwood, and Red return to America with their mechanic, Fritz, only to discover that their jobs, girl friends and family fortunes have been lost. Years later, Gibby, Red and Fritz, who have become train-hopping hoboes, arrive in Los Angeles and meet up with Woody at the premiere of Sky Heroes , an aviation extravaganza directed by Arthur Von Furst and starring Woody as a daredevil stunt pilot and Follette Marsh, Gibby's former lover, as his romantic interest. After re-establishing their bonds over drinks, Woody convinces his friends to join him in the stunt pilot business and work on Von Furst's next movie. Although Gibby still has strong feelings for Follette, who has married Von Furst to further her acting career, he agrees to fly stunts for the maniacal, jealous director. During shooting, Gibby and Red become rivals for the affections of Woody's sister, who is known affectionally as "The Pest," and eventually she accepts Red's proposal and breaks Gibby's heart. Follette, meanwhile, tries unsuccessfully to dissuade Gibby from flying a last dangerous stunt, convinced that Von Furst will try to kill him if he does. Before Gibby boards the airplane, however, Woody jumps in, unaware that Von Furst has sprayed the control wires with acid. Unable to warn Woody in time, Gibby watches as his friend crashes to his fiery death. Caught with the acid, Von Furst is tied up by Red but later refuses to sign a murder confession. That night, during a struggle, Von Furst tries to flee, but is shot and killed by one of the fliers. After Gibby lies to the police, he deliberately crash-dives his airplane with Von Furst's body in the cockpit, thereby clearing Red of any possible blame.