The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) has announced the death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died on Tuesday.
Hanoky Media gathered that Arotile died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road accident at the NAF base in Kaduna on Tuesday.
Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, announced the demise of the Flying Officer Arotile in a statement in Abuja.
Arotile, aged 25, who hailed from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, recently completed a programme at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.
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She was winged last year by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar in Abuja, and has died in less than a year after being decorated as the first female combatant helicopter pilot.
As the first woman to fly a fighter helicopter in Nigeria, Arotile became a popular figure in the country after she was recognized by the NAF for her passion in doing what has been stereotyped as a man’s job.
According to the statement quoting the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar: “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”.
The NAF spokesman said that during her short but impactful stay in the Service, she 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 Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf of officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss.