Daren B. Wilde

Chief Pilot

Daren has always had his eye to the sky. From an early age he knew what he was going to do when (and if) he ever grew up. Daren started flying back in 1985 and couldn’t get enough of it. The following year he started attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Az. He continued with his flight training and earned a B.S. in Aeronautical Studies. The next year he began his flight studies with the USAF. As a pilot with the USAF Daren had the opportunity to fly the T-37 and T-1A Jayhawk. After completing his military service Daren moved back home to Utah and was in search of his new adventure. He started flying Hot Air Balloons in 2001 and was hooked for life. By the end of 2001 he had purchased Morning Star Balloons and he hasn’t looked back since. Daren has amassed over 3000 flight hours with over 1400 of those in Hot Air Balloons. Daren is proud of his perfect safety record and continues to make safety a top priority with his flying and his company. You can feel confident going on hot air balloon rides in Utah with Daren.


Bill Dobbs

Bill is one of the most experienced balloon pilots you will ever meet. The son of a Korean War ace in the F-86, Bill began his flying career back in 1978. He has amassed well over 6000 hours flying Hot Air Balloons. He honed his skills on the competition circuit where he won 54 competitions and placed in the top 5 in over 250 more. For 15 years Bill earned his keep by winning prize money at competitions all over the world. He has flown in every size balloon from 66,000 cubic feet to the 245,000 that we fly here at Morning Star Balloons. Since joining the staff here at Morning Star Balloons he has become the most requested pilot around. “WILD” Bill, as he is known (more like “MILD” Bill these days) is also in very high demand as an instructor. He has provided instruction for students from all over the world. With over 30 years flight experience in Hot Air Balloons Bill has a perfect safety record. Bill is a valuable member of our flight team. We are very lucky to have him with us. For hot air balloon rides, Utah has none other.