This is top notch storytelling well balanced with purpose -- to explore in a fictional framework the many ways in which a man's job and his attitude toward it can influence his reactions under stress. Here, the unquestioned leadership enjoyed by the pilot, Frank Towns, is lost after his old passenger plane crashes during a Sahara sandstorm. Among the surviving passengers and crew are many types of men with different occupational backgrounds. There is the unimaginative, completely dutiful English officer; his malcontent, priceless Sergeant; the co-pilot, eternal second-in-command; the ingenious mechanics on board who help wring water from the desert; and there is Stringer. After announcing that he is an aircraft designer, Stringer convinces the men that they must build a new plane from the wreckage of the old. He becomes a fanatical, dictatorial supervisor. One man discovers that Stringer is a designer of toy planes. This is vivid survival adventure which examines the nature of pride in craftsmanship.