More details have emerged about the demise of Nigeria ’s first female combat pilot , Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile , who died at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna State on Tuesday .
The 24 -year – old was said to have been hit by a car driven by a former classmate who wanted to greet her .
The unnamed ex-classmate was reportedly reversing the car when it hit Arotile who fell and hit her head on the tarmac .
She subsequently died while receiving treatment at the hospital where she was taken to .
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information Air Com . Ibikunle Daramola revealed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday .
It stated , “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 .”
Daramola explained that Arotile joined the Nigerian Air Force out of passion for the job .
Born on December 13 , 1995 to the family of Mr and Mrs Akintunde Arotile in Kaduna, Arotile hailed from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State .
She attended Air Force Primary School, Kaduna from 2000 – 2005 and Air Force Secondary School, Kaduna from 2006 – 2011 before she later gained admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy , Kaduna as a member of 64 Regular Course on September 22 , 2012 .
Arotile was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force as a Pilot Officer on September 16 , 2017 and held a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the Nigerian Defence Academy .
She was winged as the first ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force on October 15 , 2019 , after completing her training in South Africa .
She possessed a commercial pilot license and also underwent tactical flying training on the Agusta 109 Power Attack Helicopter in Italy .
“Incidentally , she 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,” the statement noted .
The Chief of the Air Staff , Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar , while condoling with her family and Nigeria , said Arotile would be missed .