Nigeria’s First Female Combat Helicopter Pilot Arotile Dies

Nigerian Air Force’s First Female Combat
Tolutope Arotile

The Nigerian air force has lost its first female helicopter pilot who in the early hours of Wednesday after failing to recover from injuries sustained in a motor accident.

Eight months ago, Tolulope Arotile, the first female helicopter pilot in the history of the Nigerian Air Force, was decorated by Sadique Abubakar, chief of air staff.

Arotile had just ended a programme at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.

The Nigerian Airforce made this known via a statement.

“It is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died today, 14 July 2020, as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna,” the statement read.‬

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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, late Arotile, who hailed 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.