Nigeria’s first-ever female combat helicopter pilot Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile is dead.
This was contained in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Ibikunle Daramola who announced her death on Tuesday, July 15.
Daramola disclosed that Arotile died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base in Kaduna State, northern Nigeria.
According to the statement, Arotile died barely a year after she was winged as a combat helicopter pilot in the Air Force following the completion of her course in South Africa.
The NAF spokesman described Arotile’s career as one of “impactful service” who 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.
“We pray that the Almighty God grant her soul eternal rest.”
Arotile hails from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
She was commissioned into the NAF in September 2017 as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64; and later became the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the service in Nigeria.
The NAF, via the statement, explained that “the Chief of Air Staff, Air MarshalSadique Abubakar, on behalf officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss.”