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Captain Crystal

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 Welcome aboard!  I thought you'd like to know a little (well, actually there is a lot here) about the Morning Star Hot Air Balloon Company and our Flight Team.  As you read, note we love to fly and have a great time in the air and would love to join you in your next hot air balloon adventure...   pics/mscc04.jpg (12408 bytes)

Captain Crystal Stout, Senior Pilot,
Captain Crystal, President of Morning Star Hot Air Balloon Company, has been active in hot air ballooning since 1985.  She received comprehensive flight instruction and her Commercial Pilot's certificate from a  141 School (one of three "top gun", lighter-than-air, pilot schools in the Nation).  She has proven her leadership capabilities as Vice President (1999) of the Northwest Ballooning Association (NBA), President (1994-95) and Newsletter Editor (1994-95) of the 45th Parallel Aerostat Squadron, the former balloon club of the Willamette Valley (now the Willamette Aerostat Society).  She received the "Aeronaut of the Year" award from her peers in 1995 from the 45th for her contributions to hot air ballooning in her community.  She has placed or won many hot air balloon competitions nationwide.   In fact, Crystal competed in the Wildhorse Women's Shootout Balloon Championship in October 2002.   At this event, she exhibited why she is one of the ten best female pilots in the Nation. 
KOOL Indy car balloon in Cleveland, OHCrystal is or has been a member of the Balloon Federation of America (BFA), Northwest Ballooning Association (NBA), Willamette Aerostat Society (WAS), Oregon Women's Sailing Association (OWSA), and past member of  The Ninety-Nines (organization for women in aviation).   She is an authorized Aerostar« International Inc.« hot air balloon dealer.   She also owns and operates a powered parachute lighter-than-air craft  Crystal is also a former member of the Executive Board for the Miss Clark County Scholarship Organization, pursuing educational opportunities for young women in her community.

Crystal's role as
Event Coordinator for the 1997 KOOL Balloon Racing Series enabled her to play an active part in PPG/CART Indy racing events for a 10-city tour around the U.S.  Utilizing her degree in Radio/Television Broadcasting, Crystal was the primary media spokesperson for the KOOL Pro Tour and a guest on numerous "good morning" shows, news programs, talk radio, and print media.
Captain Crystal and Absolut Mandrin in Bryant Park, NYC

Crystal has organized and participated in events in Portugal, Japan, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico, as well as across the U.S.  In March of 1999, Captain Crystal and
Bob Corey, her Kentucky associate, were selected to organize and "Balloomeister" the 1999 AGFA International Hot Air Fiesta held in the Wairarapa Valley towns of Masterton, Carterton, and Martinborough located in New Zealand.

During the summer of 1999, Crystal organized a four-city tour for the "splash" of Absolut Mandrin Vodka which encompassed sightings in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami.

She has flown many corporate balloons including:  Columbia Turel Bookkeeping and Tax Service (regional), Coca-Cola, Model T Casino, Red Lobster, Wild Horse Casino, Boise River Festival, Kellogg's GR-R-Reat Tony Balloon, Double Tree Hotel, KOOL Indy car special shape balloon, Nautica/Meier & Frank, Vencor, Remax, as well as her company's four personal hot air balloons.

Dr. Don StoutDonald "Dr. Don" Stout, Operations Manager,
Pilot/Sr. Flight Captain
Married to the Senior Pilot allows Don to work side-by-side with his wife, Crystal.   His infectious smile and "go go" attitude provides an air of enthusiasm and fun for all those who fly the skies with Morning Star Hot Air Balloon Co.  And, as the Team Chiropractor and wellness physician, Dr. Don keeps the Flight Team happy and well adjusted.   Don loves to fly Green Hornet...our sport balloon.  On days when the air is calm with light and variable conditions, Dr. Don may even fly close enough to take your picture.  

The first time Dr. Don flew he said it was scary getting up in the air since he knew nothing about ballooning.  "It was cool to see everything from altitude, but it was the Spirit of America balloon that perked my interest when we flew low over the ground.  You see, I used to have levitation dreams for years where I was hovering just over the treetops and the grassy fields."   Shortly thereafter, Don had his flight lesson as a pilot and he was "hooked".   That was in 1998 and his feet haven't touched the ground since.  "I relive my dream each day I fly...this time with my eyes open." Visit Doc's website at

Bob and Barbara George, Proud ParentsBob and Barbara George
Captain Crystal  iStratospheric Balloon Launch, November 11, 1935s a third generation balloonist.   Grandfather Kenneth George (as seen on the right with the Explorer II) crewed on the first stratospheric balloon launch from the Stratobowl in South Dakota on November 11, 1935.   And, Father "Pilot Bob"   George   (pictured with wife, Barbara on the left) of Kelso, WA, is a private hot air balloon pilot after receiving instruction from his daughter. Although Bob has retired from ballooning, he and wife, Barbara, have crewed for their daughter during some of her tours and can be seen occasionally on the balloon field during the summer months.  (It's always nice to share the fun with your family.)