After a rocky few months in their marriage, Harry and Sara Harrigan are reunited and more in love than ever. But Harry has a problem. He is warned that an American corporate predator, Buddy Harrison, has designs on Harry's family company, Pattersons Industries, and is wooing Harry's two co-owners, his aunts Faye and Joyce.
An influenza epidemic is raging through Queensland, Australia, and Harry and Sara are constantly on the move helping family members. Harry hears that his aunts have agreed to a meeting with Harrison in Brisbane and is determined to disrupt the meeting. He must fly to Brisbane but Sara is ill with flu and he reluctantly leaves her at Elmsford. He successfully goads Harrison into antagonizing his aunts and they assure him Pattersons is safe. He speeds to the aerodrome to fly to Sara but is warned that, due to the flu epidemic, the only charter aircraft available is overdue for service in some areas and he shouldn't fly. But he is desperate to get to Sara and takes off. In the air he is warned of severe storms along his route and eventually is forced to land at a coastal city, Burnsport, 100 miles west of his destination but across the Great Dividing Range. There he learns that Sara is seriously ill and impatiently waits out the expected storms. He is cleared to fly to Monaldo, the nearest strip to Elmsford, but runs into a storm cell which appears suddenly. His plane receives lightning strikes which disrupt the radio and the instruments. Just as he seems to have cleared the storm a bird strikes the windscreen hitting Harry in the face and nearly blinding him. Other bird-strikes batter the little Cessna and one hits the engine. He is in thick cloud and, by the time he can partly see he realizes the sputtering plane is headed for the ground. He shouts Sara's name as he braces for the impact of the crash.
When news of Harry's disappearance reaches his home area a 100-strong search party is formed and they cross the Range to join the search. Because of rain there is little air search going on. The search authorities admit to Sara, now discharged from hospital and at Burnsport, that because of the storms, they have little idea where Harry has come down. Sara, certain that she'd know if Harry was dead, never lets up on the co-ordinators and her own friends, all of whom, after six days, are wavering in their belief that they can find him. Some are going home but a few others believe they've been looking for Harry in the wrong place and set out to search elsewhere.....