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North American P-51D Mustang

This U.S. Air Force shows a North American P-51D Mustang at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Another P-51D Mustang was the subject of legal action in a Chicago appellate court over an ownership dispute. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Richard Vartanian had run out of time under statute of limitations to pursue his claim to recover a plane he said was stolen from him sometime before 1985.

CHICAGO — A Chicago federal appeals court has handed a defeat to one man's legal battle to claim a WWII-era fighter plane he alleged was stolen and rightfully belonged to him.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports Thursday that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Richard Vartanian had run out of time under statute of limitations to pursue his claim.

Vartanian bought a P-51D Mustang from Canada in the 1960s. He says it was stolen between 1974 and 1985.

In 1985, Vartanian contacted law enforcement authorities. He revived his inquires 15 years ago when he read an article that mentioned current owners of a plane he believed was his.

The appeals court said too much time had passed for any "reliable decision about what happened to Vartanian's plane."

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