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PORTLAND, Maine – Two World War II fighter planes at the bottom of Sebago Lake since a training accident in 1944 will remain there, a federal judge ruled Monday.Historic Aircraft Restoration Corp. found one of the sunken planes in July through the use of sonar images and a remote-controlled underwater video camera.The company sued for permission to salvage the Corsairs out of Sebago Lake, Maine’s deepest. The state and the British government, whose two pilots died in the crash, objected.U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal said it’s not his place to decide.Part of the company’s argument is under “the law of salvage” and “the law of finds,” both of which fall under the broader designation of “admiralty law.” Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction in admiralty cases.Singal ruled that admiralty law does not apply in the case because Sebago Lake is not navigable for federal purposes.”Sebago Lake is considered a ‘great pond’ ” he wrote, “and the Lake, its contents and the submerged land underneath are held in trust by the State of Maine for the public. From approximately 1830 until 1870, it was possible to navigate from Sebago Lake to the Atlantic Ocean via the Cumberland & Oxford Canal. However, for well over a century, Sebago Lake has been essentially landlocked and navigation is limited to other connected bodies of water within Maine.”Singal rejected an argument that any salvage operation falls under admiralty law.By dismissing the case, Singal essentially ruled for the Maine and British governments.Peter Hess, an admiralty lawyer who represented Historic Aircraft Recovery, said he expects the company will appeal to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.”Historic Aircraft Recovery is the party that found this plane, the first one to find it and the only party that knows where it is and, fair to say, the only party that has the wherewithal and the experience to recover it and properly restore it so it can be enjoyed by the public at large,” he said. “We hope to be able to do so.”Assistant Attorney General William H. Laubenstein III, said that “at this point, it appears the aircraft is at the bottom of Sebago Lake and property of the State of Maine.”The gull-winged planes are Voight Corsair F4U-1 fighters. They took off on May 16, 1944 from the Brunswick Naval Air Station.The planes collided over Sebago Lake. Killed were Royal Navy pilots Vaughan Reginald Gill and Raymond L. Knott.There are only a handful of F4U Corsairs in flying condition in the United States and they’re worth roughly $1 million each, aviation experts say.Even a muck-covered hulk is worth upward of $800,000 because the airplane can be restored as an original Corsair.