>>In support of what Corey07850 said, what I had heard was that two separate MX
items had been accomplished that night.
The first involved some type of work on/near the throttle quadrant that resulted in the thrust levers being moved out of their normal "idle thrust" position and left in a position associated with a higher thrust setting. The engines were off at this time, nobody noticed, and nobody moved them back once the work was done.
The second work item involved one of the engines, after which needed to be run it at the gate. When the guy lit it off, he did so with the thrust lever still not in the idle thrust position. With the abnormally high power setting, the aircraft surged forward, jumped the chocks, and went into the building. There were some cleaners aboard, but they had zero to do with causing the accident.<<
Same story I have heard. In addition, the guy doing the run, who was in a hurry to leave for the night, ran the engines while kneeling behind the center quadrant. This would explain why the brakes were found to be in perfect working order yet never used.
The "FDR" text could not be more false. Anyone who has started the engines on a DC-9/MD-80 could tell you this. It's one of the more difficult engines to start without melting it down or grenading the starter.
It should also be noted that the FDR does not record cockpit conversations....the CVR does!
[Edited 2004-09-16 01:02:16]