Although titled The Flying Doctor, the storyline in fact focuses more on the character of outback adventurer Sandy. On his wedding night Sandy deserts his bride, Jenny, and heads to Sydney where he becomes a painter on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
He later befriends a doctor, John Vaughan, who is in love with a married woman. Unable to continue living with the turmoil he finds himself in, Vaughan accepts a post as flying doctor in the bush.
Sandy, meanwhile, has spent some time in gaol after a brawl at a cricket match. After being released, he heads back to the outback, and soon afterwards strikes a rich vein of gold. His highlife comes to an end, however, when he is shot in a bar-room fight and loses his sight.
Things get worse when he finds out that Vaughan has married Jenny. When Sandy realises that Jenny truly loves the doctor and that he has made a mess of his life, he decides to commit suicide and leave his fortune to the Flying Doctor Service.