This accident report doesn't have much meat to it. But, then again, it probably doesn't require much to discern the problem.
Actually, that's probably not fair. The report lets us know the initial decision-making error committed by the PIC: flying in IMC without an IFR flight plan. What is not clear is whether this was a case of continued VFR into IMC, or advertent flight in IFR conditions by a non-instrument rated pilot.
At least no one else was on board.
Update: A little Googling revealted some weather data for the day of the accident:
NTSB Identification: CHI06LA005
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 09, 2005 in Union City, OH
Aircraft: Cessna 172RG, registration: N6085R
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On October 9, 2005, about 1945 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172RG, N6085R, operated by a non-instrument rated private pilot was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Union City, Ohio. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in instrument meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The pilot who was the sole occupant was fatally injured. The flight originated from Battle Creek Michigan at an unconfirmed time and was en route to Lexington, Kentucky.
A global positioning system receiver was used to determine the accident site coordinates as 40-degrees, 18-minutes, 49-seconds north lattitude, 84-degrees, 46-minutes, 40-seconds west longitude at an elevation was 1,085 feet above sea level.
NOUS51 KILN 100204
PRELIMINARY NOTIFICATION REPORT(AVIATION)
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON OH
1003 PM EDT SUN OCT 9 2005
TO: FORENSIC SERVICES MANAGER(W/OS23)
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
C/O TELLECOMMUNICATIONS GATEWAY
SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND 20910
INFO: EASTERN REGION (ATTN:W/ER1X2)
BRAVO: NEAR UNION CITY DARKE COUNTY OH
CHARLIE: PLANE DEPARTED FROM UNKNOWN
1 ON BOARD. 1 FATALITY
SPECI KDAY 100105Z 01007KT 2 1/2SM BR BKN003 OVC009 11/11 A3002 RMK
AO2 CIG 002V006
METAR KDAY 100056Z 01006KT 2SM BR BKN005 OVC009 11/11 A3004 RMK AO2
TWR VIS 2 1/2 CIG 002V007 SLP173 T01110111
METAR KDAY 092356Z 06005KT 2SM BR OVC006 12/11 A3004 RMK AO2 TWR VIS
2 1/2 CIG 004V011 SLP172 60001 T01170106 10117 20106 53008
SPECI KDAY 092337Z 06006KT 2SM BR BKN006 OVC013 12/11 A3003 RMK AO2
TWR VIS 2 1/2
METAR KDAY 092256Z 04008KT 2 1/2SM BR BKN008 OVC013 12/11 A3002 RMK
AO2 SFC VIS 3 CIG 006V011 SLP166 T01170106
KDAY 092333Z 100024 03005KT 2SM BR BKN008 OVC015
FM1000 05004KT 3SM BR OVC012
FM1400 04008KT P6SM OVC015
FM2000 02005KT P6SM VCSH OVC015=
KDAY 092208Z 092218 36010KT 2SM BR OVC008
FM1000 05007KT 3SM BR OVC012
FM1500 05008KT P6SM OVC015=
KDAY 091959Z 092018 36010KT 2SM BR OVC006
TEMPO 2022 3SM BR OVC015
FM2200 03008KT 4SM BR OVC015
FM1000 05007KT 3SM BR OVC012
FM1500 05008KT P6SM OVC015
FOXTROT: FORECAST UPPER LEVEL WINDS.
3000 FEET 6000 FEET 9000 FEET
110 AT 13 KTS 180 AT 11 KTS 200 AT 28 KTS
EXTRM NWRN OH...SCT-BKN025 TOPS 070. 05Z BKN025. OTLK...MVFR CIG.
RMNDR OH LE...OVC015-025 TOPS 080 SCT-BKN CI. OTLK...IFR CIG BR
BECMG AFT 15Z MVFR CIG.
AIRMET SIERRA FOR IFR AND MTN OBSCN VALID UNTIL 100800
AIRMET IFR...ME NH VT MA CT RI NY LO OH LE PA NJ WV MD DE DC VA
AND CSTL WTRS
FROM 70NW PQI TO 60NE PQI TO 50WSW YSJ TO 140ENE ACK TO 100S HTO
TO 90E ORF TO 20NE ECG TO HMV TO HNN TO CVG TO 40SSE FWA TO YYZ
TO YOW TO YSC TO 70NW PQI
OCNL TO WDSPR CIG BLW 010/VIS BLW 3SM DZ/BR/FG. CONDS CONTG BYD
08Z THRU 14Z.
AIRMET TANGO FOR TURB VALID UNTIL 100800
NO SGFNT TURB EXP EXC INVOF CNVTV ACT.
AIRMET ZULU FOR ICE AND FRZLVL VALID UNTIL 100800
NO SGFNT ICE EXP OUTSIDE CNVTV ACT.
NONE IN AREA
HOTEL: BRIEFING RECEIVED...UNKNOWN
JEFFREY SITES...SENIOR FORECASTER WFO ILN
With a zero or one degree spread between temperatue and dew point, it's not hard to understand why the ceiling was at 900 feet. Why a non-instrument rated pilot would fly into such conditions nearly defies rational explanation. Condolences to the family and friends of the accident pilot.