Rodney Boone was quite a character and we all loved working with him. He was always very nice to us flight engineers and we always loved to get scheduled flying with Rodney. Rodney was used in training and I flew some training flights with FE students from ANA while Rodney had two student ANA pilots. Flying was always fun and enjoyable with him.
One day we were doing touch and goes at Palmdale and LAX was getting fogged in and there was quite a stack up in the holding pattern. Those short on fuel were diverted to Palmdale for fuel. I remember a Pan Am 747 landed just behind a Continental DC-10. The DC-10 was parked on the taxi way, waiting with the tail engine running because their APU was broke. The Pan Am 747 landed and taxied directly behind the DC-10 and the tail engine on the 10 was blowing its exhaust right into the windshield of the 747. While we were still doing touch and goes, it was a bit funny to see these two planes so close together with all the runway distance available on the taxi way and having the 747 sucking in the engine exhaust.
The DC-10 finally moved up to get some fuel but the airport fueling truck wouldn’t give them any fuel until they shut down that No. 2 engine. They said they can’t shut it down because they don’t have a usable APU and would not be able to start the engines.
Rodney got on the frequency and told the DC-10 “…even tho you’ve got the wrong name on your hub caps, I think our dispatch office can get an air cart out to you to get your engines started…”. And with that, they shut down and got their fuel.
Last updated 06/23/13
Update 07/21/13 I spoke to Rodney today on the phone. He is still living in the Palmdale area and is actively running his gun business. He lost his medical two years ago. Ironically, but perhaps most fitting, his last flight was in an ex-TWA Tristar that was brought out of storage after sitting for 16 years. He flew it to a TWA museum. He said he would write his bio for me. I look forward to publishing it along with a photo or two.
Update: 08/15/2016 — I called Rodney once as a follow up to ask about his bio for this website. I guess he just wasn’t interested as I never received it from him.