Nigeria’s First and Only Female Combat Helicopter Pilot, Tolulope Arotile Dies at 23


The Nigerian Air Force ( NAF ) has regretfully announced the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile , who died on Tuesday, 14 July 2020, as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.

Flying Officer Arorile was just 23.

Arotile died eight months after she was commissioned as Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.

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 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.

In a statement signed by Air Force spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, “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.”

He prays that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest.

In October 2019, Arotile was commissioned along with 12 others, including Kafayat Sanni, the country’s first female fighter pilot.

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