Test Pilot was written by Howard Hawks, Vincent Lawrence, John Lee Mahin, Frank Wead and Waldemar Young, and directed by Victor Fleming. Based on a story written by Frank Wead (a writer later portrayed by John Wayne in John Ford's The Wings of Eagles).
The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
One day, Gunner has to accompany Jim on a test flight of a new bomber. Something goes wrong; the plane goes into a tailspin, and sandbags (substituting for the weight of bombs) break loose, pinning Gunner. Unwilling to bail out without his buddy, Jim manages to land, but it is too late for Gunner. When Jim realizes the toll his job has taken on his wife, he gives it up.