Home NEWS Unfortunate! Nigeria Loses First Female Combatant Pilot few Months after Decoration

Unfortunate! Nigeria Loses First Female Combatant Pilot few Months after Decoration


It is with heavy heart that the Air Force authority in Nigeria announced the death of Tolulope Arotile, the first female combatant helicopter pilot in the history of the Nigerian Air Force eight month after her official recognition which saw her decorated by chief of air staff, Sadique Abubakar.

In a statement released to the press, she was killed in an accident at the Nigerian Air Force base in Kaduna state on the 14 July 2020. She had just concluded a programme at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa. While decorating her alongside Kafayat Sanni, the first female fighter pilot, Abubakar had said: “They are not only female officers but outstanding aviators. While one of the two pilots is the first female fighter pilot in the 55 years history of the NAF, the second one is the first female combatant helicopter pilot.”

The Air force described her life journey as “short but impactful life” The statement disclosed that she gave up the ghost after struggling to recover from the severe injuries sustained in the accident.

Tolulope Arotile’s decoration 8 months ago

‪Flying Officer Arotile, 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 hailed 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 of 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.