On a flight over the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, Capt. Frank Towns (Dennis Quaid) and co-pilot A.J. (Tyrese Gibson) are unable to keep their cargo plane in the air when a violent sandstorm strikes. Crash-landing in a remote part of the desert, the two pilots and their passengers -- a crew of oil workers and a drifter (Giovanni Ribisi) -- must work together to survive by rebuilding the aircraft. Soon, low supplies and a band of merciless smugglers add greater urgency to their task.