Inspired by the true story of a South American pilot who crashed his plane in a field near an Irish town in 1983, the film is seen through the eyes of nine-year-old Paco who believes his absent father is Spanish and working as a NASA astronaut.
When Paco finds what he thinks is the shell of a rocket in the nearby woods, and a Spanish speaking man emerges from it, Paco happily invites him home. It soon becomes clear to everyone that the 'rocket' is a crashed plane with its wings sheared off. Paco has learned enough Spanish for his translation of the pilot's story - and his desperate need to get home - to be believed. The mayor and townspeople come together to repair the plane and build a runway, demonstrating rare community spirit and catching the imagination of the nation. When Paco's new-found father finally takes off, only Paco's mother sheds a tear.