DPS names newest airplane after trooper killed by drunk driver - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

DPS names newest airplane after trooper killed by drunk driver

(Source: Texas Department of Public Safety) (Source: Texas Department of Public Safety)
EDINBURG, TX (KXXV) -

At a ceremony in Edinburg, the aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12 NG, was dedicated in honor of the late Trooper Ernesto Alanis. Alanis was killed by a drunk driver while making a traffic stop near McAllen in February 1983.

“Texas State Trooper Ernesto Alanis made the ultimate sacrifice in his service to DPS and the State of Texas, and he was committed to protecting the communities in which he served, including the Rio Grande Valley where he was born and raised,” said State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “It is a fitting tribute to him and his family that his spirit will live on forever in the dedication of this aircraft, named in his honor. The Ernesto Alanis will build on his legacy of protecting and serving the people of Texas.”

The airplane holds two pilots and seven passengers, reaches an altitude of 30,000 feet and can travel as fast as 322 mph. Equipment includes an L-3 camera system with infrared/color video camera, a Churchill mapping system, a variety of radios and technology that enables communication between first responder agencies.

The primary duty of the Ernesto Alanis is to support law enforcement agencies along the Texas-Mexico border. Other duties including helping a variety of public safety missions across Texas, including transporting medical equipment, supplies and response teams during a disaster, aerial observation support and the capability to serve as an aerial command center.

“This aircraft will honor Trooper Alanis’ legacy for years to come by ensuring that DPS is even more prepared to protect and serve the great State of Texas,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Our aircraft have proven to be a force multiplier in combating a dynamic criminal element and in increasing the capabilities of DPS in all phases of emergency and law enforcement work –including assisting our law enforcement partners.”

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