The NCIS team finds three very dehydrated survivors from a recent helicopter crash, Navy Lieutenant Joplin and Petty Officers Sparks and Portis, but their pilot Commander Happ remains missing. Eliminating the theory that the helicopter may have crashed with another aircraft, the team sets out to find the missing wreckage. CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin makes a deal with a metal collector named Shamus Quinn to give her any items he finds on the beach in hopes of locating the missing helicopter pieces but nothing turns up. Tony and McGee find Happ's body on the rocks of the beach and note a gunshot wound to his right temple. Ducky's concludes that Happ had survived the crash and was killed shortly afterward. Abby's ballistics test reveals that the gun was a spare registered to Petty Officer Sparks. Sparks tells Gibb that Happ, who was distressed over his child's terminal illness, was trying to commit suicide by crashing the helicopter and he may have gotten hold of the gun after the helicopter crashed. However, Petty Officer Portis who just regained consciousness weakly shakes his head "no” when asked if Happ had tried to commit suicide. Ziva uncovers that all of the crew members, except for Happ, had recently applied for apostille stamps which would allow them to open offshore bank accounts. They learn that Commander Hernandez had also applied for one and flight records indicate that Hernandez was to be piloting the helicopter that night. Hernandez ultimately admits the crew's plan to fake the crash so they could sell the helicopter and deliver it to the buyer on his cargo ship which was out at sea. Hernandez had backed out at the last minute and they got Happ to fill in instead. Once in flight, the crew told Happ about their scheme which he hesitantly agreed to go along with knowing how much the money would help with his son's medical cost. However, while landing the helicopter on the ship, Happ backed out and pulled the gun on all of them including the buyer. The buyer turned the gun on Happ and killed him and forced the rest of the crew to jump ship in the middle of the ocean. The killer turned out to be Shamus Quinn who is eventually tracked down to a local warehouse.