Nigeria’s first female fighter helicopter pilot dies in road accident

Nigeria’s first-ever female combat helicopter pilot Tolulope Arotile died on Tuesday as a result of head injuries sustained in a road traffic accident in the northwestern state of Kaduna, according to the Nigeria Air Force (NAF).

Arotile, in her 20s, contributed to the efforts to rid the Nigerian north-central region of armed groups by flying several combat missions, said a terse official statement.

The NAF described her demise as “unfortunate,” saying her service to Nigeria was “short but impactful.” The young pilot was commissioned as an officer of the NAF in 2017.

As the first woman to fly a fighter helicopter in Nigeria, Arotile became a popular figure in the country after she was recognized by the NAF for her passion in doing what has been stereotyped to be a man’s job.