Nigeria’s first female combat pilot dies in road crash

Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has lost its first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, in an auto crash in Kaduna.

Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola announced the demise of Flying Officer Arotile in a statement in Abuja.

“It is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died today, July 14, 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 the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, was the first ever female combat helicopter pilot in the service,” he said.

Daramola noted that during her short but impactful stay in 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 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 of officers, airmen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserated with the family of late ‪Flying Officer over this irreparable loss.

He prayed that the Almighty God will grant her soul eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable lost.