Tolulope Arotile: Nigeria’s First Female Combat Helicopter Pilot Dies At 23 After Road Accident

July 15, 2020
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Tolulope Arotile, the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in Nigeria, has died at the of 23 after a road accident in Kaduna State.

It was learnt that Arotile died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Kaduna.

Her death came barely nine months after she was winged as a combat helicopter pilot in the Air Force following the completion of her course in South Africa.

Confirming the accident, the NAF in a press statement on Tuesday said:

“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.

“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 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 Sadique 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. We pray that the Almighty God grant her soul eternal rest.”

Tolulope Arotile’s death is coming just 9 months after she was winged by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) as the the first female helicopter pilot, alongside Kafayat Sanni, the first female fighter pilot.

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