The Nigerian Air Force said that it has lost its first ever female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile to auto crash 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.
The deceased pilot was winged last year by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar in Abuja.
According to the statement: “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, 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 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.
“He prayed that the Almighty God will grants her soul eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable lost,” the statement added.