Nigerian Air Force’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile, has died at 24 as a result of head injuries sustained from a road accident.
The flying officer died eight months after she was commissioned as Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.
NAF confirmed her death in a statement signed by Air Force spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola on Wednesday.
The statement reads;
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 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.
The Chief of the 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 grants her soul eternal rest.
Arotile reportedly sustained head injuries from a road accident which occurred at the NAF Base in Kaduna on Tuesday.
She made history on October 15, 2019, when she was commissioned as the country’s first combat helicopter pilot in the Air Force following the completion of her course at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.
She was commissioned alongside Kafayat Sanni, the country’s first female fighter pilot.
May her soul rest in peace.