Not A Teacher.
As I understand it the throttle in an aircraft is normally set so that pushing it forwards increases speed and pulling it back decreases it. So pulling back on the throttle would reduce speed.
I live about 2 miles from an airport and hear aircraft taking off on a regular basis, from what I have heard they appear to use the highest amount of thrust to get off the ground but fairly soon after leaving the ground reduce this to normal cruising thrust. I judge this by the pitch of the engine noise.
It could be the pilot in this story is pulling back on the throttles to get to normal cruising thrust just after taking off.