Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot dies in road crash

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The Nigerian Air Force has announced the demise of the country’s first ever female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.

According to a statement the force’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola released, Arotile’s sudden end occurred on Tuesday following an auto crash in Kaduna on Tuesday.

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Arotile hailed from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

She recently completed a programme at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa and last year decorated as the first female combatant helicopter pilot.

The statement by Daramola read in part, “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.”

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