I’d say risk management and decision making are important skills largely untrained to new pilots in the US.
Well, I can tell you from experience that that is definitely not accurate. Risk management was literally the first ground lesson I ever had. ADM has been hammered constantly in all stages of my training ever since (I am an instrument-rated private pilot, now in commercial training).
Pilots of all training and experience levels can be prone to "get-there-itis"; it's got nothing to do with how new a pilot is. It can actually be more prevalent with more experience, because of complacency (another hazard that's drilled over and over in training).
I don't really know anything about the pilot of this accident; what certifications he had or how experienced he was. I'm assuming he was instrument rated because otherwise he wouldn't have been able to legally take off. But he clearly was doing something that we are taught from the beginning not to do, which is obey the letter of the law without actually thinking about the consequences. Again, whether it had anything to do with the crash, I can say already that he took off in conditions that he could not legally return to the airport in. In part 91 in a single engine plane, your takeoff minimums under IFR are 0/0. But your *landing* minimums are whatever's on the approach plate, and there is no approach to that airport that would have let him land with anything but 1SM of visibility. (He had 1/2.) That alone is a dealbreaker.
Just to be clear about what that means, if he took off, had some kind of problem short of an emergency and wanted to return to the airport (for example, low oil pressure, or a broken electrical fuel pump), he could not legally do it. That would vastly increase the chances of whatever that situation was of *becoming* an emergency, and by that point he'd be who knows where. And even if he'd decided in advance to just declare an emergency for any little problem and turn around, those approach plates are designed how they are for a reason. Whether there are obstacles, sight obstructions, or something about the geography of the airport, you are taking a big, big risk thinking you're going to land in instrument conditions below minimums even in an emergency. Essentially, he decided at that point, knowing he was taking off below landing minimums for that airport, that he was fine with accepting that risk with 11 passengers on board. And that is just bad decision making.
(Technically speaking, you *can* try to shoot an approach below minimums and land if you then see the weather has improved to minimums or above, or if flight visibility is better than reported ground visibility. But again, it is a big, big risk. And risk management and decision making are the issues we're talking about.)
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!