On 2/27/04, at 8:45pm, the Piper PA-28R-180, N7687J while on a flight from Long Beach, California to Sacramento, California, collided with mountainous terrain during a night cross-country flight while trying to avoid inclement weather. The pilot had recently received his private pilot's certificate and did not possess an instrument rating. The airplane impacted a 40 degree mountain slope at an elevation of 6,700 feet about 300 feet below the ridge. There were no preimpact airplane mechanical anomalies identified during the investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable causes of this accident as follows: The pilot's continued visual flight into adverse weather conditions at night, which resulted in an in-flight collision with mountainous terrain. The pilot's failure to obtain preflight weather information for the route of flight was also causal.