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A large group of pilots were practicing for the forthcoming World Gliding Championships. There were a number of weak thermals in the area near the starting gate position, and there were several gliders in each thermal. The pilot of VH-FQS encountered a surge of lift and commenced to increase the angle of bank and pull up, achieving a climb rate of about 6 knots. Shortly afterwards, the canopy of this aircraft struck the wing of VH-KYF, which was at a climb rate of about 4 knots. The canopy was shattered, and the left flap of VH-KYF was broken in half. The pilots maintained control of their aircraft, and subsequently landed safely. Neither pilot had seen the other aircraft in the thermal prior to the collision. The competitive nature of the exercise and the large number of aircraft in the area combined to present an operational hazard to those involved.

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General details
Date: 12 January 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: a) 1250 b) 1230  
Location:3 km South of Benalla Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Airborne collision 
Release date: 29 April 1987 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH 
Aircraft model: Ventus 
Aircraft registration: VH-FQS 
Type of operation: Gliding 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Benalla VIC
Departure time:1250
Destination:Benalla VIC
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau 
Aircraft model: ASW-20 
Aircraft registration: VH-KYF 
Type of operation: Gliding 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Benalla VIC
Departure time:1230
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