Nigerian Air Force loses first-ever female combat pilot in road accident

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Edozie Udeojo,Abuja

Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the first-ever and only female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Airforce has died. The tragic incident occurred in Kaduna yesterday after she sustained head injuries from a road accident.

Her tragic death was announced on Wednesday morning by the Nigerian Air force.

Miss Arotile was commissioned as a member of the 64 Regular Course of the Nigerian Air Force in September, 2017 and was in 2019 decorated as the first-ever female fighter pilot by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique. She was a flying officer in the Air Force.

According to a statement by the Nigerian Air Force on its Twitter handle @NigAirForce on Wednesday morning, Miss Arotile died as a result of head injuries she sustained during the accident which occurred in the evening of Tuesday, July 14.


According to the statement: “It is with great sorrow that the @NigAirForce regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died on 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 @HQ_NDA RC 64, was the first ever female combat helicopter pilot in the service.

“During her short but impactful stay in the Service, late Arotile, who hails from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, 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.”

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadiqque, on behalf officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss. We pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest.”

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