Captain Abimbola Jayeola
Meet Nigeria’s first female helicopter pilot, Captain Abimbola Jayeola, who was the captain on the Bristow helocopter that ditched in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday, February 3.
Her split-second decision saved the lives of everyone onboard and several families linked to them.
Nigeria should know its heroes, so let’s get to know better this amazing young lady who was ready for everything to become the very first female helicopter pilot in the world’s most populous black nation.
Captain Abimbola Jayeola and her passangers.
Captain Abimbola Jayeola hails from Abeokuta in Ogun state.
In 2008, she graduated from the Bristow Academy, where she “learned to believe in herself” . Speaking about her training in Florida, the USA, she said:
“From a technical perspective, my academy experience is the foundation of my success on the job today. More broadly, exposure to the rich and multicultural diversity at the academy greatly facilitated my understanding and appreciation of
different cultures and the way they do things. Effective communication, establishing good interpersonal relationships, networking and sharing ideas are just some of the important ‘soft’ skills I developed and honed during my Academy training.
“Coming from a part of the world where some professions are viewed as the exclusive preserve of men, I found enormous encouragement in the academy. I learned to believe in myself because I was determined in my choice of becoming a pilot. I’ll
always remember what one of the instructors said to me: ‘If you have faith in yourself, other people will have no choice but to believe in you.’’’
Now Captain Jayeola is working for the Bristow Group and her base is Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital. Before joining Bristow, she worked with Geointel and Associates.
Abimbola flies the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter.
Meanwhile, the operations of Bristow Helicopters Limited’s Sikorsky S-76X++ type have been suspended indefinitely by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Captain Mukhtar Usman, the director general of NCAA, noted that the suspension of operations of the company does not represent a vote of no confidence on the company but to look out for adequacy and propriety of the operating aircraft type.