Welcome to Ruth Wilson’s life – adventurer, author, aviator

Adopted at the age of 3, a beauty queen at 17, Ruth moved to live in the United States of America, then spent four years in Japan with her next move to New Zealand in 1975 where she unexpectedly came face to face with her destiny – hot air ballooning.

Ruth Wilson is a mother of two sons who embraced her passion to be one of the early pioneers of hot air and gas ballooning in Australia. Ruth has accumulated numerous ‘firsts’ – first female balloon pilot in Australia to set up her own commercial ballooning company solo in 1976, first national ballooning champion in 1979. A trip to Switzerland in 1985 brought gas ballooning into her life, a rare experience as no gas ballooning happens in Australia. In 1999 Ruth represented her country as pilot competing in the prestigious Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race launching from Albuquerque, USA.

Her love of extreme ballooning drew her back to pilot ‘Bernadette’ in the 2018 Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon race from Bern, Switzerland. After 33 hours without sleep, little food and water Ruth and her co-pilot Tanys McCarron, landed their gas balloon in an Italian vineyard.

Her corporate work included six years as Chief Operations Officer with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Atom Optics at The Australian National University in Canberra, also Executive Director for five years for ACRN. For eighteen years Ruth managed her own PR/Media company in Sydney.

"I have written Conquering Clouds to help me find my biological father, inspire others not to be swayed by age when deciding to embrace challenge, to share my brother Ronnie’s story as well and as a legacy for my grandchildren, Tyler and Josie Wilson."
Ruth Wilson