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 instructor of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology between October 2011 and February 2014.
Early Life: A native of Ukwa East 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 traveling. She had her primary school education at Anglican Girls Grammar School, Yaba, Lagos State, before she trained as a private and commercial pilot in 1978 at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria under SP.12 Batch. 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 May 20, 1981, from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology. 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.
Recognition: 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.
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.