Aircraft are utilized for transporting Troopers as they perform their daily activities. Those activities may include fish and wildlife patrol and investigation, prisoner transport, criminal investigation and search and rescue operations.

Troopers may operate one of several aircraft dependent upon their duty assignment. Troopers may attend fight school based on the needs of the Department.

Fixed wing assets include:

  • PA-18 Piper Super Cubs and Cessna 185’s on wheels, skis, floats, and amphibious float configurations
  • Cessna 208 Caravans
  • Beechcraft 350i King Air


Rotary wing assets include:

  • R-44 and AStar helicopters

Within our department we have both commissioned (State Trooper) and civilian aircraft pilots, with the vast majority being commissioned. In order to qualify for consideration into the DPS pilot program you must have a 2nd class medical, a private pilot certificate and at least 100 hours with 25 hours of that being Alaska time. The minimum number of hours will depend on the type of aircraft authorized to fly. As an example, 100 hours would be the minimum for the Super Cubs or 172s, 3,000 hours and an ATP certificate would be the minimum to fly as PIC in the King Air. The primary flight crew for the King Air and AStar Helicopters are civilian pilot positions. There are also a few civilian pilot positions in Fairbanks and Western Alaska locations like Bethel and Kotzebue. There are some commissioned state troopers who are checked out in every aircraft we have, including the AStars and King Air. The commissioned DPS pilots use the department aircraft like patrol vehicles. Our aircraft section is currently the largest of any state police agency in the US, with 43 aircraft. We have a wide variety:

  • 1 - Beechcraft King Air 350i
  • 2 - Airbus AStar B3e
  • 2 - Cessna 208 Caravan
  • 3 - Robinson R44
  • 2 - Cessna 172 (180 HP)
  • 1 - Cessna 182 (300 HP)
  • 2 - Cessna 206
  • 6 - Cessna 185
  • 24 - Piper Super Cub


Occasionally there are civilian pilot positions that become available, but they seem to be few and far between. If you have aspirations of becoming a pilot for the State Troopers in Alaska, the best way, by far, is through the application process to become a trooper. If hired, once you are off of probation (one year of employment), and when /if in a location where there is a need for another DPS pilot, you could go through the process of selection and training to become one. Although there is no guarantee of becoming a DPS pilot when hired, as flight authorization lies solely with DPS, the department is continuously in need of more pilots. There is an additional duty pay, which all authorized commissioned pilots received, if under the rank of sergeant. It is 5% of your hourly pay rate.