The rejected flight attendant who started her own aviation company.

     Story highlights.



      • SRS Aviation is South Africa's first all-female jet company


      • Founder Sibongile Sambo did not meet height requirements to be a flight attendant


      • She has now helped three women become pilots -- and plans to support more


     (CNN)For one South African businesswoman, getting more female pilots into the skies is not just her work, it's her passion.

     Sibongile Sambo wanted to be a flight attendant with South African Airways, but she did not meet the minimum height requirement to become one.

     So she decided to star her own business, and had to sell her car and use her mother's pension money to set it up.

     Today, she is the founder of SRS Aviation, Africa's first female aviation company.

     In 2004, Sambo was commissioned with her first flight for the South African government.

    SRS Aviation founder Sibongile Sambo.

     Since then, SRS Aviation has grown to provide personalized services including helicopter, tourist and luxury flights to destinations spanning the globe. The Johannesburg-based crew have flown as far as the U.S. and Germany.

     "It could be a tourist charter for $1,000 or could be a head of state traveling on a VIP aircraft to the United States, which could be about $200,000," said the entrepreneur.


    Breaking into a male dominated industry.

     The business may be high-flying now, but it has seen more turbulent days. For Sambo, breaking into this male-dominated industry and "getting to learn the language" proved challenging.

     Despite the difficulties, SRS Aviation received an Air Operating Certificate by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), allowing it to operate commercial flying activities, and has helped three women get their private pilot licenses. They are now employed full-time.

    SRS Aviation has helped three women get their pilots license.

     The company has also partnered with MCC Aviation, an established player in the South African aviation business. The deal gives Sambo access to a fleet of aircraft, as well as technical and operational support.

     "I'm where I am today because somebody invested in me," she says. "It's my opportunity now to invest in other people."


    Making strides in Africa.

     Last year, Ethiopia Airlines dispatched its first flight run by an entirely female crew in a bid to encourage more African women into aviation. Sambo wants more South African women to join the effort and make it big as jet pilots.

     Sambo plans to expand SRS Aviation's helicopter services across Africa

     Current growth plans for her company include expanding SRS Aviation helicopter services and its operations across the African continent.

     "What I'm proud of about our company is that we have managed to penetrate the male dominated industry," she adds. "Aviation is growing in Africa. We are going to grow with the growth in Africa." (By Amir Daftari and Heenali).



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    3 Rules for Men to Follow to Avoid Getting Trapped by Women Who Date for Dinner.

     Dating, as a middle-aged guy in Manhattan, has been an adventure. What I have discovered is that while I was going on first dates in the hopes of having a second date and maybe even finding a relationship, some women were dating for sport – the sport of getting a nice dinner paid for. All they had to do was manipulate the date logistics in a way that suckered me into buying them dinner and they have achieved their goal. You know the saying, nice guys finish last or in this case, $100 dollars plus or minus poorer, with little to show for it.

    Now before all of you ladies start sending me (more) hate mail, I am not saying that all or even most women do this. But some do, and most men who have significant dating experience have encountered this situation. Some women even admit they do it like Rose Clifford, who was featured in a recent NY Post Article. And for those of you who think otherwise, it seems that most women still expect the man to pay for the first date. And essentially every man and woman I have spoken to about this, agrees with that.

     Here are three recent dates I had that illustrate how easy it is to get caught in the pay-for-dinner play:

     Date #1: When I spoke with her on the phone I wasn’t sure we were compatible but I figured how could a quick meet on a late Wednesday afternoon hurt? I suggested that we meet at a nice bar I knew near her. She said, “I really like the W Hotel. I really like the lounge in there.”

     We meet at “The Living Room” in the W Hotel at 5pm and sat down on one of the couches and ordered drinks. About 10 minutes in, she said she hadn’t eaten much for lunch asked to see the menu. And then proceeded to order two “small” appetizers to go with her second drink. The date ended an hour later when she said she had to get home because her babysitter had to leave. There was no offer on her part to even split the bill. I paid the $80 bill and never saw her again. I felt like a schmuck.

     Date #2: About a month later and a bit wiser (so I thought) I made plans with a woman who lived across the Hudson River in Jersey City to meet me at by the 9/11 Memorial at 4:30pm. She had told me on our initial phone call that she had never seen it and since I knew several nice places to hang out within a block, I suggested a quick tour of the memorial and we could grab a drink.

     At 4:20pm, as I was walking to meet her, she sent me a text saying she was sorry but was delayed and was right now walking out her door. There were two more texts that followed with excuses for more delays. She showed up at 6pm, 90 minutes after our scheduled meeting time.

     She was very apologetic, gave me a big hug and said it was unusual for her to be so late and she would make it up to me. I believed her. We toured the 9/11 Memorial for about 15 minutes and then I pointed to a bar within eyesight and said let’s go have a drink. She informed me that at this point she was hungry and would get sick if she drank on an empty stomach and needed dinner first. Three hours later we ended the dinner date with me $125 poorer. There was no offer on her part to even split the bill. There was no second date, despite her reaching out to me again.

     Date #3:  I recently matched with a very attractive woman on a picture-based dating app. We had a nice first call and I suggested we meet Saturday, 3pm for coffee. She said had errands to run and asked if we could push back the time to 4pm. I agreed, but that got me thinking. So, I went back and looked at her dating profile and this is what it said:

     “Single, no kids, fun, sweet, upscale, business-savvy, selective… Enjoys fine dining in Manhattan and…. That last phrase poked me right in the eye. But maybe I was being paranoid?

     Saturday came and I was just about to head to our date when I got the text I somehow knew I was going to get: “Sorry, I’m running a little behind, can we meet at 5:30pm?” I waited a few minutes to think about things, even considering that I might be judging her unfairly, and even if she wasn’t trying to sucker me into a free meal, moving a first date and hour and half later, 45 minutes before the date, is just unacceptable. So, I told her I had plans and her coming at 5:30pm would make our time together too short. I felt like I had finally manned-up.

     These three date experiences along with a bunch of others has lead me to suggest these three rules for men trying to avoid getting suckered into paying for a meal they never intended to:



      1. You Pick the Place: If you are paying, you pick the venue for the date. You should know in advance what you are potentially paying for. If she insists on changing the place make sure you know it well and it’s acceptable to you. If it’s not, hold firm and if she doesn’t agree, pass on her.


      1. Late for a First Date is Unacceptable: I’d say follow the 30-minute rule. If she can’t get there within 30 minutes of the scheduled time cancel the date. And don’t get fooled by late creep – where she says I’m running late multiple times before the same date. Even if she’s not being late to get a free meal, she’s disrespected you and that’s not a way to start any relationship you want to be in.


      1. Look for Warning Signs: Listen carefully to what she says or what she has written in her dating profile. If she says she likes fine dining, great wine or frequent travel, you should believe her. She very well may intend on getting you to indulge her in those things. My dating profile talks about what I have to offer women. Her profile shouldn’t talk about what she wants, it should also talk about what she has to offer.


     Have you had a similar experience on dates? If yes, did you end up paying for dinner or not?



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    Alien signal detected by Russian astrophysicists turns out to be terrestrial disturbance.

     Earlier it was reported a telescope possibly registered a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization sent from a stellar system in the constellation Hercules.

    © Alexei Pavlishak//TASS.

     An unusual signal registered by the Ratan-600 radio telescope at the Zelenchukskaya observatory in the North Caucasus Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia is a terrestrial disturbance rather than a sound from an unearthly civilization, telescope researcher Yulia Sotnikova told TASS on Tuesday.

     "Last and this year, the telescope’s work has focused on searching for sun-like stars," Sotnikova said.

     "There have been no scientific results within the framework of this research so far. Some time ago, in the spring of this year, an unusual signal was received but its analysis showed that it was most likely a terrestrial disturbance," she noted, adding that the observatory was preparing the text of an official disclaimer to dismiss media reports on the discovery of a signal from an unearthly civilization.

     Director of the Institute of Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Ipatov told TASS that back at the Soviet period he had been part of a group of young astronomers at the special astrophysical observatory searching for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.

     "We, indeed, discovered an unusual signal. However, an additional check showed that it was emanating from a Soviet military satellite, which had not been entered into any of the catalogs of celestial bodies," Ipatov said.

     As renowned US amateur astronomer Paul Gilster reported on the website Centairu Dreams, the Zelenchukskaya observatory’s telescope possibly registered a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization sent from the stellar system HD164595 in the constellation Hercules. The signal was reportedly received at a wavelength of 2.7 cm.

     As Gilster claimed, the signal could evidence the existence of an extraterrestrial civilization as it was 8-10 times brighter than a typical pulsar or the Moon.

     Russia’s Ratan-600 is the world’s largest radio telescope with its ring diameter of 600 meters. One of the telescope’s basic missions is to study the Sun but a lot of scientific program are simultaneously carried out with its help. The program, under which the unusual signal was detected, is being implemented by the special astrophysical observatory jointly with Moscow State University.



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