Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot Tolulope Arotile was confirmed dead earlier today, and here is a throwback video of her in the air.
We earlier reported that 23-year-old Tolulope Arotile died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base Kaduna.
Her death came barely a year after she was winged as a combat helicopter pilot in the Air Force following the completion of her course in South Africa.
The sad news of her death was confirmed in a statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.
The statement read in part;
“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 hails 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.”
A throwback video showing the late combat pilot flying a helicopter has now emerged. Watch the video below;