Captain Chinyere Kalu, born 1970, is the first female pilot in Nigeria. Capt. Chinyere grew up in a supportive extended family. Her decision to start a career in Aviation was spured by her adventurous aunt, who was well known for travelling overseas within their hometown. As the matriarch of the household, her aunt approved of her decision and then she began her journey into aviation.
She schooled in Anglican Girls Grammar School, Yaba, Lagos and then trained as a Private and Commercial Pilot, SP.12 Batch, NCAT, Zaria (1978). She took several aviation courses in UK, USA, and Zaria.
She wanted to have the opportunity to travel round in the world and keep an adventurous lifestyle. So she took up the male dominated and challenging career and became the first female pilot in Nigeria.
She’s married to Mr. Okoli Kalu with children. In 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed her as the Rector and Chief Executive of Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) (formerly Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Center)- which is the largest aviation training institute in Africa. Prior to that, she was the Head of the College’s Flying School where she served as an contractual instructor.
We are crushing on Capt. Kalu today because she blazed the trail for many other young ladies in the Nigerian Aviation industry and today many women are emerging as pilots in Nigeria. Thank you Capt. Chinyere for being such an inspiration.