Nigeria Loses First Female Combat Helicopter Pilot, Arotile

Nigeria Loses First Female Combat Helicopter Pilot, Arotile

Oluwapelumi Fasoyin

The first female combat helicopter pilot of the Nigeria Air Force’s , Tolulope Arotile, has died in a road accident.

According to reports gathered, Arotile sustained head injuries from the road accident which occurred at the NAF Base in Kaduna.

Arotile, who hailed from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, recently completed a programme at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.

She died less than a year after she was decorated as the first female combatant helicopter pilot.

Arotile graduated as the best flight student from the Nigerian Air Force in 2017.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar,  described her death as an “irreparable loss”.

According to a statement released by the Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, it read, “It is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died today (Tuesday), 14 July 2020, as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.

“Until her death, ‪Flying Officer Arotile, who was commissioned into the NAF in September 2017 as a member of Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, was the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Service.‬

“During her short but impactful stay in the Service, the late Arotile contributed significantly to the efforts to rid the North Central States of armed bandits and other criminal elements by flying several combat missions under Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, Niger State.

It however prayed  that the Almighty God grants the deceased eternal rest.

The deceased was one of the 13 pilots inducted at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday, August 15, 2019.

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