A 5:30 lesson on tap for today! I listen to the AWOS for N99, the "unofficial" until approved by the FAA. Winds 180-220 at 3 to 5 kts and ceilings 3700 bkn. I decide to proceed south towards ILG to simulate a flight plan to lower Delaware. The haze is very thick and the horizon is hard to distinguish. I dial in DQO VOR, ID it and set a heading for direct TO. After leveling off at 2500 I turn to the west for the southern practice area. I can't see 40N or anything else very clear. There is helicopter traffic running parallel east to west with me a few miles north of my track and about 1600 feet. As he turns south west I check right and turn north west. Clearing the the area I decide to practice some slow flight to include level flight at 50 kts followed by turns, climbs and descents. I clean up and then set up for some steep bank turns. Ok trying to find a reference point out there and visibility stinks. I bug my heading clear left and bank to 45* with three quick swipes of nose up trim. Rolling out on target I decide that I can not see far enough to feel safe since I am not far from MXE VOR and south of 40N.
I dial in the Modena VOR and track my way back, picking up my two water towers as my reference I call a 4 mile 45* for left downwind 27...........and CRAP I forgot from the south west. I am about to enter the downwind and an aircraft calls out crosswind 27. I again announce my position as entering the left downwind 27 and the low wing aircraft acknowledges they have the traffic (which is me!). I flow through the landing checklist, fuel both and on, mixture full rich, landing and taxi lights on, belts and seats secure, good to go. I turn base and final adding a notch of flaps for each leg. Now on final and adding some trim for 65 kts I make the runway but land a bit flat(in my opinion). Back taxi and take off for 3 more rounds. The speed is better on landing with only one overall "nice" landing and the others were "ok".
Exactly 1 hour in the book ! I am going to schedule for Saturday if I can, if not, Sunday for sure. I want to get the checkride done next week. Now if I can focus on the oral test prep. I hate to study and read, I do it all day with plans and specifications not to mention all the letter and contract documentation. If I can pull A's in night school I can ace this stuff, well I hope so!
Until the weekend.....