13 year old Brian is sitting in the co-pilot seat on his way to his dad in Canada and the pilot teaches him some of the basics of flying a plane.
After the pilot dies because of a heart attack Brian tries talking to a man on the radio but he doesn't get to tell him much. Brian keeps trying to use the radio every 10 minutes but it doesn't work.
Brian sees an L-shaped lake and knowing that it would make his landing easier rather than landing on the trees and tearing the plane apart he tries to land the plane on the lake. Brian crash lands and then swims to shore. Brian then sits next to a tree and passes out
Brian remembers the moment where he finds out about the secret. He remembers every detail of it. Brian and his friend Terry were riding their bikes when he saw his mom sitting in a station wagon kissing a blonde man that wasn't his dad.
Brian remembers his English teacher Mr. Perpich who believes in the power of positive thinking. Brian empties out his pockets and takes a look at what he has which is a little money, paper and the hatchet that his mother gave him.
Brian tries to find something to eat. Keeping the lake on his right as a reference so he won't get far away from the plane if search crews look for him, Brian decides to go out into the forest to find some food. Brian finds berries and takes them back to his shelter.