The first combat helicopter pilot of the Nigerian Air Force, Tolulope Arotile, died in a road accident. According to local media reports, Arotile was wounded in the head after a road accident at the NAF base in Kaduna, northern Nigeria.
The NAF said in a press release that the flight attendant died on Tuesday. The statement quoted the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar, describing his death as “irreparable loss”.
Arotile, originally from Ife in the Ijumu local government region of Kogi State, recently completed a program at the Starlite International Training Academy in South Africa. She died less than a year after being decorated as the first female combat helicopter pilot.
“It is with great sadness that the Nigerian Air Force announces the unfortunate death of Flight Lieutenant Tolulope Arotile, who died today (Tuesday) July 14, 2020, as a result of head injuries caused by an accident from the road to NAF Base Kaduna.
“Until her death, Flying Officer Arotile, who joined the NAF in September 2017 as a member of Regular Course 64 of the Nigerian Defense Academy, was the very first female helicopter pilot of combat within the Service. “
“During her brief but hard-hitting 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 carrying out several combat missions as part of the operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, in the State of Niger. “
“We pray that God the Almighty will grant his soul eternal rest.” The deceased was one of 13 pilots inducted into NAF headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, August 15, 2019. Arotile graduated as the best flight student in the Nigerian Air Force in 2017.