Air Cadet Willy Williams is 14 years old and in Year 9 at High School in Cairns, North Queensland. Because his ambition is to become a pilot in the Air Force Willy takes every opportunity to go flying. He is also a very passionate young male who is discovering girls. To complicate his love life he is torn between the beautiful red-haired Barbara in his class and Marjorie, who is a year younger. The problem is that Barbara, the object of Willy's admiration, does not respond to his advances while Marjorie is making a very determined play for his attentions. But because Marjorie is only a Year 8 Willy is scared that his mates will tease him for 'cradle snatching'- and when it comes to looks Marjorie can't compete with Barbara's figure and fiery beauty.
Willy is mad keen on all aspects of flying and is famous around the school for his risky experiments. His current fad is airships. Not content with reading about them and making working models he decides to build his own- and to keep it secret from his parents.
The experiment almost ends in disaster during a weekend at his uncle's farm. But worse is to follow when his uncle is the victim of a very grisly murder the next night. It is Willy who discovers the body and during the following weeks he is tested both emotionally and physically as he struggles to cope with rejections in his love life, with bullying by a rival for Barbara's affections, and with his sanity as he tries to make sense of life.
Throughout this time he is helped by his friends and by his parents who encourage his interest in airships. This leads to another dramatic incident which places both Willy and his friends in dire peril. During this testing time Willy learns much about himself and is forced to choose which girl is the one for him.
Come for the flight and share with Willy his adventures in the mountains of tropical Far North Queensland.