Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter has died in a road accident.
Arotile was said to have sustained injuries to her head in the accident that occurred at the Nigerian Air Force base in Kaduna.
In a press statement by the Nigerian Air Force on Tuesday, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, described her death as an “irreparable loss”.
Arotile hailed from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State and recently obtained a programme at Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.
“It is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died today (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 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, the late Arotile 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.
“We pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest.”
Arotile graduated as the best flight student from the Nigerian Air Force in 2017.
She was inducted as one of 13 pilots into the Nigerian Air Force on the 15th of August 2019.