Top Female Pilots In Nigeria You Should Know

Who are the top female pilots in Nigeria? A pilot is one of the most important professionals in the aviation industry. They are experts in charge of flying an aircraft. They are trained to fly jets, passenger planes, helicopters, and rescue planes, among other things.

Pilots are put in charge of people’s lives after undergoing rigorous and intense training. Pilots are relatively well compensated, which has resulted in a highly motivated and competitive job market where only the best candidates will make the cut.

Pilot Responsibilities

  1. Conducting all flight inspections; of fuel, equipment, and navigational systems.
  2. Maintaining a reasonable level of professionalism and operating the aircraft safely at all times.
  3. Weather monitoring and communication with air traffic.
  4. Throughout the flight, communicate with co-pilots and flight crew.
  5. Making the passengers and crew rest assured in time of emergencies and also keeping them informed
  6. Before takeoff, determine the safest routes and analyze flight plans.

Piloting Requirements

  1. Communication: When information is not properly relayed between the pilot and the controller, accidents can occur. To avoid costly mistakes, a pilot must be able to communicate effectively.
  2. Teamwork is essential; in addition to working with your co-pilot, you must also work with air traffic controllers and flight attendants to ensure a safe flight.
  3. Multitasking – Flying an aircraft necessitates a number of moving parts. Being able to multitask is essential because you will be required to manage tasks concurrently and take action on multiple priorities and projects at the same time.
  4. Management: A pilot must be capable of prioritizing tasks and projects.
  5. Professionalism: In many cases, a pilot’s actions have saved lives in perilous situations. It is critical to maintain professional and ethical behavior at all times while remaining calm and professional.
  6. Adaptability: To be a successful pilot, you must be able to adapt to a wide range of situations. Weather changes, changes in scheduling and working hours, hostile passengers, and even technical failure will put your resourcefulness and ability to adapt to new situations to the test.

Piloting is mostly seen as a male profession, the male gender dominates in this field. Currently, there are some women who have thrived and have broken into this field and are doing exceptionally. We have the likes of Chinyere Kalu, Kafayat Sanni, Blessing Liman, Tolulope Arotile and many others.


Top 10 Female Pilots In Nigeria

1. Chinyere Kalu

Kalu, a native of Akwete, Ukwa East LGA in Abia State, Eastern Nigeria, was raised by her mother following her parents’ divorce. Her adventurous aunt, who was well known for her overseas travel, inspired her to pursue a career in aviation.

She attended Anglican Girls Grammar School in Yaba, Lagos State, before enrolling as a private and commercial pilot in 1978 at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology in Zaria as part of the SP.12 Batch.

She went on to take several aviation and transportation courses in the United Kingdom and the United States before receiving her commercial pilot’s license on May 20, 1981, from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology.

The former president, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan appointed her as rector and chief instructor of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology in October 2011.  She was succeded by Captain Samuel Caulcrick

2. Blessing Liman

Blessing Liman is known to be the first female military pilot born on the 13th of March 1984. Liman is a descendant of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area in Kaduna State, Nigeria. She enlisted in the Nigerian Air Force in July 2011 after graduating from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, and she was commissioned on December 9, 2011.

She made history on April 27, 2012, when she became Nigeria’s first female combat pilot following the badge decoration ceremony of thirty flying officers by Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar. 

3. Kafayat Sanni

She was born in the year 1997 and is a Nigerian female fighter pilot who made history as the country’s first female fighter pilot. In 2017, he was named the overall best pilot at the NA 401 pilot training School in Kaduna State.

4. Abimbola Jayeola

Abimbola Jayeola is the first female Nigerian helicopter pilot and the first female Nigerian to graduate from Bristow Academy. Abimbola became the first female helicopter pilot for Bristow Helicopters Nigeria in December 2014, flying the Sikorsky.

Abimbola, as captain of the Bristow helicopter, ditched it into the Atlantic Ocean in February 2016, saving the lives of 11 passengers on board.

She also piloted the 5B BJQ Bristow helicopter, which was on its way to Lagos from Port Harcourt but was forced to land to avoid casualties. Leading Ladies Africa (LLA) named her one of the 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria in 2017.

5. Tolulope Arotile

Tolulope Arotile was born Tolulope Oluwatoyin Sarah, Arotile, on December 13, 1995, in Kaduna State, Nigeria in the Nigerian Airforce Base, Kaduna State. She made a significant contribution to combat operations against insecurity in Nigeria’s northern states. She schooled at the Alma Mater Nigerian Defence Academy.

She served in the Nigerian Airforce Base, Kaduna state as the Nigerian Air force service Flying Officer. Arotile died from a head injury sustained in an accident at the Nigerian Air Force base in Kaduna state on July 14 2020 and was buried in the Military Cemetery, Airport Road, Abuja.

6. Mariam Umar Bashir

This is Maira Umar Bashir, a Nigerian Muslim lady pilot who began flying as a teen. Maira Umar Bashir is 24 years old and originally from Borno State. 43 air school provided her with her private pilot license. In one of her interviews, the lady discusses how she became a pilot at a young age.

7. Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo

Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo was born on October 16, 1990, in Kaduna state, to Ogunmola Ademola and Aweni Deborah Ogunmola, and is married to Sowemimo Olamilekan Michael. She is the third and final child of her parents. She is from Ogbomoso in the state of Oyo.


Above, it shows that there are females making it in the aviation sector. This list just alights a few, we still have some others who we couldn’t put on the list.

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