The Nigeria’s first female combat pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, aged 24, was reported to have died at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna State on Tuesday, after she was being hit by a car driven by her old school mate who was trying to greet her.
The old school mate whose name was not mentioned was reportedly reversing his car when it hit Arotile who fell and hit her head on the tarmac.
She was rushed to the hospital but subsequently died while receiving treatment, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information Air Com. Ibikunle Daramola disclosed this information in Abuja on Wednesday.
The NAF PPRO’s statement read in part “Flying Officer Arotile died on July 14, 2020 at the age of 24, when she was inadvertently hit by the reversing vehicle of an excited former Air Force Secondary School classmate while trying to greet her.
“Before her untimely death, Flying Officer Arotile made significant and outstanding contributions to the war against terrorism, armed banditry and other forms of criminality in the country, flying several combat missions.”
The statement went further noted that “Incidentally, she was the one who introduced the newly acquired Agusta 109 Power Attack Helicopter to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, during the induction ceremony at Eagle Square in Abuja on February 6, 2020”.
However,the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said Arotile would be missed, while condoling with her family and Nigeria.
A peep into Arotile’s Autobiography
She was born on December 13, 1995 to the family of Mr and Mrs Akintunde Arotile in Kaduna, who hails from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
She attended Air Force Primary School, Kaduna and Air Force Secondary School, Kaduna from from 2000 – 2005 and 2006 – 2011 respectively. She gained admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna on September 22, 2012, as a member of 64 Regular Course, where she barged aBachelor of Science in Mathematics.
On September 16, 2017, Arotile got commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force as a Pilot Officer, She was decorated as the first ever Nigeria female combat helicopter pilot in the history of the Nigerian Air Force on October 15, 2019, after completing her training in South Africa.
She underwent tactical flying training on the Agusta 109 Power Attack Helicopter in Italy and possessed a commercial pilot license.
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