What is BAD weather ? It depends on your "normal".
If you have lived and operated in Russian type of conditions all your life, to them it is normal. They EXPECT the weather to be bad and it will take "extremes" to trigger alarm bells for them. Up north people push it all the time because the job has to be done and 99.99 percent of the time it works.
Of course those who live it everyday, AND SUCCEED, see it differently to those that can just stay indoors in their comfy arm chairs and sprout "it shouldn't happen" , " why did he do it", "stupid pilot" .....................
Of course there are procedures to follow but mistakes are made primarily due to:
1. Pressure on the pilot. This aviation operating culture starts when you get your com because there is always someone else who is prepared to do it. Lots of heros out there.
2. Fatigue. Generally this element is getting worse and will cause many more crashes.
3. Reducing experience levels of Captains. This will also get worse.
4. Technical failures in flight and pressure to go with NO GO items. The 'nicest' people put pressure on pilot's to go with No Go snags. A few years our CEO would phone us Captains to put pressure on us to go with no go items. He actually fired a couple of pilots telephonically. I would say to him, if you are convinced it is safe to go and as the CEO you accept responsibility, send me a fax stating that and I will depart immediately. I would then hear a click!
The question is, does it still happen ...... ?
There will always be Pilot Error. The question is WHY and who should be held accountable??
ANYWAY, I wasn't there ..........
RIP and condolences