Some Arabs hijack an airliner and demand the release of their leader who is in American custody. They also intend to land in Washington for refueling. At the Pentagon, everyone there advises the National Security Advisor that they should let the plane land and then let the counter terrorist team of Colonel Austin Travis take them out. However, David Grant, an intelligence expert believes that this whole thing is a smokescreen. Grant believes that the Arab leader was abducted and brought to the Americans by his second in command, who is a fanatic. Also, that he has in his possession a biological weapon that could wipe out Washington and that it's on the plane. Now they have only two choices let them land and hope Grant is wrong or shoot the plane down along with every one on board. Colonel Travis suggests that they use a new plane that the military uses to transport men from it onto another aircraft while in flight. With no other option Travis is given the go ahead. Travis asks that Grant accompany him so that he can give them whatever info he can provide. However, it appears that Travis has another reason for bringing Grant along. It seems that awhile back they were sent on a mission to retrieve the biological weapon, but, in the end found that the weapon not there - one of Travis' men was also killed. It was Grant's Intel that sent them there. Now the aircraft link-up seems to be going well until the plane starts to break and fall apart. Half of the team including Travis doesn't make it. The ones that do (including Grant), and the man who built the plane they were on, have to carry out the mission. Unfortunately, some important equipment (communication link, knock out gas) didn't make it, so they have to do it the hard way. At the same time, the Pentagon, unsure if the men made it, have to again decide whether to let them land or shoot the plane down.