P-3 Orion Research Group
The Netherlands
this page was last updated on 27 January 2013
P-3 Orion books

P-3 Orion in action
By Richard S. Dann and Rick Burgess (2004)
Squadron / Signal Publications Inc., Carrollton, Texas, USA
ISBN 0 89747 478 3

50 pages of history about the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion. This book has been a very long time in coming. The P-3 is the maritime patrol aircraft of the last 40 years. A successor was recently selected to eventuelly replace the Orion in US Navy service. Richard Dann and Rick Burgess succesfully compiled this book, featuring lots of photos of P-3 Orions in action.

ADAK - The rescue of Alfa Foxtrot 586
By Andrew C.A. Jampoler (2003)
Naval Institute Press / Annapolis, Maryland, USA
ISBN 1 59114 412 4

Mid-afternoon October 26, 1978, "Alfa Foxtrot 586," a US Navy patrol aircraft flying from Naval Station Adak, in the Aleutian Islands, ditched at sea with fifteen men aboard.  The four engine aircraft hit the water and sank almost immediately under huge waves spun up by a storm in the western Bering Sea. AF 586 had been flying a sensitive reconnaissance mission off the Soviet Kamchatka coast, above the usually vacant waters of this corner of the North Pacific, when a propeller malfunction followed by a succession of engine fires forced the ditching. During the last ninety minutes of the flight, Crew 6's pilots had tried to nurse their aircraft hundreds of miles to the nearest American airfield, on Shemya Island.  Meanwhile, in the cabin, the rest of the crew coolly terminated their mission, destroyed crypto equipment, and prepared themselves for the coming ordeal. After the second fire in the number 1 engine, AF 586's fire extinguishers were spent.  A third blew itself out.  The fourth threatened to burn through the wing. AF 586 finally splashed into thirty-foot seas almost exactly midway between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., twenty-five years into a cold war that defined U.S.-Soviet relations as a zero sum game. In the dark, flooded cabin, the crew managed to launch two of the three rafts on board, but all the other emergency equipment sank with the aircraft.  The off-duty flight engineer, Butch Miller, went down with the aircraft, unconscious or already dead and probably still belted into his seat in the galley.  The plane commander, Jerry Grigsby, was the last man into the water.  Swimming desperately, he failed to reach either of the rafts, despite the other survivors' efforts to paddle one to him.  Crew 6's three sensor operators died of exposure during a terrible night spent hip-deep in cold water, in a swamped, overloaded raft buffeted by powerful winds and snow squalls.  The three, Rich Garcia, Jim Brooner and Randy Rodriguez, were the youngest men aboard.  (The fact that only the three youngest enlisted men on the crew died in the rafts raised questions that reverberated during the accident investigations that followed the loss.)  All the others were very close to death by early the next morning. When AF 586 went in, the nearest US Coast Guard ship was days away, separated from the rafts by a winter tempest that would churn up fifty-foot waves in the Bering Sea. An Air Force special mission aircraft, diverted from its high priority flight collecting intelligence on Soviet missile tests, first spotted the rafts.  Navy and Coast Guard search and rescue aircraft from Alaska quickly closed on the scene, but SAR operations would soon be grounded by high winds progressively closing Aleutian airfields as bad weather blew southeast down the chain.  A Russian fishing trawler, on the way home to Sakhalin Island until sent to the site following an urgent appeal from Washington to Moscow for assistance, was the crew's only hope. The trawler, led to the scene by a US Coast Guard aircraft dropping flares onto the roiled surface of the ocean, arrived there just as Jim Brooner died.

ADAK is the exciting true story of this mission, written by a navy aviator who has flown the same model aircraft on the same mission from the same Aleutian base.  His authentic account is drawn from extensive interviews with survivors, with the master of the Soviet trawler and with many of the crewmen in the search and rescue aircraft that flew overhead the rafts October 26-27.  These personal recollections have been augmented by information from official navy investigations, communications between Washington and Moscow, and the recorded radio exchange between AF 586 and the ground as the emergency progressed.

Born to Fly - the untold story of the downed American reconnaissance plane
By Shane Osborn (with Malcolm McConnell)
Broadway Books, New York (2001)
ISBN 0 7679 1111 3

From the age of three, Shane Osborn dreamed of being a pilot. He began learning the skills he would need to fly as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, a branch of the U.S. Air Force, when he was just twelve years old. But it wasn't until he graduated from the naval ROTC program at the University of Nebraska and joined the navy that his dream became a reality. For five years, Osborn practiced rigorous training exercises, working tirelessly day in and day out until he advanced from navy pilot to mission commander.

All Lt. Osborn's flying skills were put to the test when a Chinese F-8 II fighter jet collided with his EP-3E ARIES II plane during a U.S. surveillance mission through international airspace. The impact severely damaged Osborn's aircraft, sending it plummeting toward the ocean. With almost certain disaster looming, Osborn managed to gain control of the crippled plane and land it safely on the Chinese island of Hainan-saving the lives of his twenty-three crewmates.

In Born to Fly, Shane Osborn describes these terrifying events in vivid detail, along with the years of dedicated training that made the emergency landing possible. This is the inspirational story of a boy with a dream, and of the extraordinary discipline and courage that made him a hero.

P-3 Orion Volume 2
By Marco P.J. Borst & Jaap Dubbeldam (2001)
P-3 Orion Research Group
ISBN 90 806230 2 4

In 1996 we published our first booklet about the P-3. It was for the greater part written in Dutch as it was intended as an anniversary publication of the Valkenburg Aircraft Spotters Foundation. Because we got a lot of reactions calling for an all-English edition, we decided to update the original 1996 booklet and translate it into English. We also added a few new chapters. The Dutch Aviation Society expressed its interest to publish our work as a special edition of their magazine "Scramble" and this is the result: "P-3 Orion - Volume 2". Of course this second edition contains our survey of the individual history of every Orion ever built: the "P-3 Orion Aircraft Location History Report." 72 pages dedicated to the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion: everything you want to know about the P-3 Orion!

The age of Orion
By David Reade (1998)
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 0 7643 0478 X

This book is the first standard reference work on the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion. A MUST for everyone who likes the P-3!! David Reade details for the first time the complete history and walks you through all the different models, versions and variants. The book authoritatively establishes the Orion's different configurations, roles and missions it performs, as well as describes its endless array of capabilities currently and into the future. Besides chronicling all of its international operators and their future upgrade programs, "The Age of Orion" contains comprehensive and informative appendices, charts, graphs and impressive illlustrated Bureau Number Aircraft Location listing of every P-3 in the world.

David Reade is a freelance journalist and consultant. He has written numerous informative articles on the P-3 Orion, its systems, missions and capabilities for over eight years as a staff writer associate with Lockheed Martin's "ASW Log" and "Airborne Log" magazines. He also is a regular contributor to VP International's MPA community publication "Maritime Patrol Aviation" magazine. The book has a hardcover, over 280 color and b/w photo's, 224 pages and is 8 1/2" x 11". The price is $49.95, plus shipping of $3.95.

P-3 Orion
By Marco P.J. Borst & Jaap Dubbeldam (1996)

The Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion is a unique aircraft. Unique, because it has been in continuous production for 33 years. Unique, because the P-3 has been built at four different locations: 650 by Lockheed at Burbank, Palmdale and Marietta in the United States and over 100 by Kawasaki at Gifu in Japan. And unique, because the Orion has developed into one of the most versatile aircraft in the world.

Before this only once a reference booklet about the Orion was published: in 1978 mr L.T. Peacock published a booklet that served as a model for our "P-3 Orion" booklet. For the first time in 17 years a survey of the individual history of every Orion built has been produced again. We have called this list, which comprises an important part of this booklet, the "P-3 Orion Aircraft Location History Report".
© P-3 Orion Research Group / 1997 - 2017