It is 1969 and the Vietnam War is raging. Air America is a clandestine organisation that drops supplies over Laos, the neighbouring country. After losing his job, Billy Covington, a brilliant helicopter pilot from California, is recruited by the CIA and lands at Long Tien, the secret Air America base. He is welcomed by veteran Gene Ryan who shows him the ropes. Billy then discovers that his new colleagues are getting rich through a variety of schemes. One of them tries to escape an investigation by planting packets of drugs in Billy's plane. Suddenly, guerrillas attack the base. Hundreds of civilians are caught in the crossfire.