Well I do not want ton argue with a pilot, but what springs into mind when reading this is the folowing:
Clearence to activate or follow FMC calculated or pre-programmed speeds.
To leave SID alt. restriction and climb with the calculated airspeed, unique to each acfts behavior.
I do not know which one is the right one, but I know that flight plans and speed settings are known to the tower, so therefor I would think that their filed alt. AND speeds as set on the FMC are given aswell.
OR/AND it could just mean that "normal" is a kind of allowing other speeds, than what is set as a ristriction in the SID papers...
If I'am way off then I have learned something:O)
JYou know I never read or answered these technical questions, not even looked in this discussion room, but having done it, I realize how much I know, crazy hobby:O)
Well I just wanna say that I totally agree with the replies you got. I would have said the same thing.
An additional comment I have is to the fact that it was snowing!!! I s it possible that icing conditions or snow clutter could have disengaged or faulted the APU, as it seems as if it wasn't scheduled or expected by the pilots?!!
Another thing is to a remark by ??? em... In his reply, he wrote that the APU is Diesel driven... As is the case in the 767 I know for sure, is that the APU is fueled from the left wing tank..
Thanx for asking nice questions that I have just the slightest chance of answering:O)
Hope we helped buddy:O)
"If you believe breaking is possible, believe in fixing also"-Rebbe Nachman