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"He played with death to prove a theory"
Pilot Jack Savage (Taylor) is suspected of drinking and causing an airliner crash that kills 53 people and leaves only a single survivor, Martha Webster (Pleshette), a flight attendant. The captain's wartime buddy, airline executive Sam C. McBane (Ford), is convinced of his friend's innocence and investigates doggedly. Flashbacks deal with both Jack's past and Sam meeting him, plus others they used to know.
Eventually, a test flight recreating the actual ill-fated flight shows that the crash was caused by a series of events.