Chapter one starts off, with Brian Robeson, a 13 year old boy, who is getting on a small plane. He is the only passenger of this plane and he is excited to be flying on the single engine plane. He is leaving the Hamptons in New York and is on his way to the north woods of Canada. When his excitement wears off, he starts thinking about his parents recent divorce. He also thinks about "the secret" as he calls it. His mother is the one who wanted the divorce, but his father didn't know why. His father didn't want the divorce. Brian is unable to tell his mother that he knows "the secret". The judge decided that during the school year, Brian would live with his mother, and during the summer he will live with his father. He is on his way to see his father.
The pilot is a middle aged man, and he asks Brian if he wants to fly the plane. Brian flies for a few minutes. The two talk for awhile, and the pilot says he is having pain in his shoulder and arm. The next instant, Brian realizes that the pilot is having a heart attack.
Chapter two: We see that Brian is alone on the plane. The pilot has either passed out or died. Brian takes the headset from the pilot and tries to make radio contact, but to no avail. He realizes he is going to have to land the plane, but then the engine quits, so he points the nose of the plane down and throws up.
Chapter three: The plane is going down. All Brian can see are trees. He then spots a l-shaped lake and tries to point the plane in that direction. The plane hits the trees, but ends up landing in the lake. Brian screams and throws up the whole time the plane is crashing. He manages to get his seat-belt undone and swims to the shore. Once he reaches the shore, he passes out from pain and exhaustion.