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Chinyere Kalu

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Chinyere Kalu
OccupationCommercial pilot

Chinyere Kalu, MFR (née Onyenucheya) is the first Nigerian female commercial pilot and the first woman to fly an aircraft in Nigeria. She served as the rector and Chief Executive of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology between October 2011 and February 2014.[1][2]


A native of Akwete, Ukwa East LGA in Abia State, Eastern Nigeria, Kalu grew up under the care of her mother after the separation of her parents. She grew up in a very supportive big family. She decided to begin her career in aviation because of her adventurous aunt, well known for overseas travelling.[3][4] She had her primary school education at Anglican Girls Grammar School, Yaba, Lagos State,[5] before she trained as a private and commercial pilot in 1978 at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria under SP.12 Batch.[6] She subsequently took several aviation and transport courses in the United Kingdom and the United States before she received her license as a commercial pilot on 20 May 1981, from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology.[7] In October 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed her the rector and chief instructor of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology. In February 2014, she was succeeded by Captain Samuel Caulcrick.[8][9]


She is a member of the Nigerian Women Achievers Hall of Fame and also a member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which was conferred upon her in 2006.[10][citation needed][11]

Other awards on her include the African International Achievers Merit Award 2007; the Rare Gems Professional Achievements Award 2007; and Nigeria's 50 Greatest Women of Democratic Administration of Ghana 2012.[12]


  1. ^ Ben, Agande (1 December 2012). "Dangerous Flight: I flew plane with water in the engine – Chinyere Kalu, first female commercial pilot". Vanguard Nigeria. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Pin on Uzomedia updates". Pinterest. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Captain Chinyere Kalu; Meet The First Nigeria Female Pilot". Information Nigeria. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  4. ^ Jo, Daniel (2017). Captain Chinyere Kalu; Meet The First Nigeria Female Pilot.
  5. ^ "I'm happy not sacrificing my family for career — Chinyere Kalu". Punch Newspapers. 11 October 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  6. ^ "First Women: First Nigerian Woman Pilot". woman.ng. 18 June 2015. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  7. ^ N. Nik Onyechi (1989). Nigeria's book of firsts: a handbook on pioneer Nigerian citizens, institutions, and events. Nigeriana Publications. ISBN 9789782839992.
  8. ^ Omale, Capt. Daniel (24 September 2016). "The Recurring Plot Within NCAT, Zaria". Leadership Newspaper. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  9. ^ Peter, Oiboh; Abraham, Ada (21 November 2012). "Nigeria: Steady Progression - From First Female Pilot to Rector". Leadership Newspaper. allAfrica. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Captain Chinyere O. Kalu: Nigeria's first female pilot". National Mirror. 24 January 2014. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  11. ^ W, Editor (14 January 2020). "Captain chinyere onyenaucheya-Nigeria's first female pilot". Archived from the original on 9 May 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  12. ^ Tori.ng. "Meet Captain Chinyere Kalu, Nigeria's First Female Pilot (Photo)". Tori.ng. Retrieved 24 May 2018.