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Thu, Jan 08, 2009

Law Firm Says F-14 Seizure In Chino Resolved

Yanks Air Museum Rescinds Ownership Of Planes

ANN has learned the Yanks Air Museum of Chino, CA and the United States Government have resolved their differences related to two F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft that Yanks had previously purchased.

As ANN reported, the feds seized the aircraft in 2007, contending that the aircraft were not properly sold to Yanks, and otherwise raised national security concerns. The US Government has increased its scrutiny of such aircraft in recent years, fearful that parts from surplus Tomcats could be sold on the black market to Iran... the only remaining operator of the type, and a state hostile to US interests.

The Jones Day law firm says the settlement will provide Yanks with additional opportunities to create new, as well as expand and complete existing displays of historic Naval aircraft through participation in the Navy's prestigious Museum Loan Program, and other valuable consideration.

In exchange, however, Yanks will waive further claim to the two F-14 aircraft of interest.

"Yanks is very pleased with the settlement," stated its lawyer, Paul Rafferty, from Jones Day. "Although initially the Government and Yanks did not see eye to eye on this issue, both parties worked cooperatively for months to find a solution that made sense. Yanks has done its part to ensure the national security of this great country, and in the process, improved its relationship with the Government and Department of the Navy."

Yanks' founder, Charles Nichols, was equally pleased. "We were obviously quite bothered by the Government's initial handling of the matter, but I must say, we really met some good folks within the US Government that do their best to protect the citizens of this country, and we especially thank the folks at the Navy Detachment at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) for their cooperation and hospitality."

"We are pleased to resolve this lawsuit in a cooperative manner with Yanks," stated Ann Wolf, the Government's counsel. "It is nice to see a result where the interests of the people of the United States are served, and at the same time, a reputable museum such as Yanks is made whole in the process."

FMI: www.yanksair.com, www.doj.gov

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