FAQ (Frequent asked question)

As a successful organisation, BAMF asbl is subject to misunderstandings generated by individuals, usually avoiding  to ask the right questions and who experience difficulties to listen and understand  the answers when they do not reflect their own prejudice.

Grapevine recently painted dark images around our actions and successes.

This FAQ is meant to clarify.

If what follows does not fully answer your questions, do not hesitate to contact us (mail address at the end of this text). We are always available to answer any question. We prefer acts, facts to buzz.

 The BAMF uses sponsors’ money to engage legal actions against other organisations.

 As a non-profit organisation, BAMF asbl obeys strict rules, one of which is the yearly publication of our accounts. These records are public information and are available to everyone. The published accounts clearly show that not single one euro cent has been spent on legal actions.

 The BAMF denies support to other organisations.

 A major change occurred in 2008 about the rules governing non-profit organisations, especially those that are allowed to issue tax certificates, which is our case. We must abide by those new regulations, full stop.

To help whatever other non-profit organisation (obviously, we would choose an organisation with similar objectives as ours) we must follow very strict rules. What does this mean to us?

 We must report yearly in details to the authorities what has been accomplished with the money we received. We are not allowed to donate money to any other non-profit organisation. In other words, we are not allowed to function as a tax-free donations collector for other organisations. But we may support financially another organisation if it performs tasks related to our objective, on our instructions.

There has been the unfortunate case of a previously supported organisation that proved unable to supply us with any bit of the legally required information. To abide by the Law, much to our regret, we were forced to suspend transferring money to that organisation.

We hope this situation will be corrected in the future,For this reason, no public communication was made on the subject. Our decision has been misrepresented on several occasions.

Please refer to http://www.dons-legs.be/gdl_fiscal.asp for the legal texts covering this issue. (This links you to a French text, that includes under” item 5” a link to the relating legal documents, http://www.giften-legaten.be/ in het Nederlands).

See also http://fiscus.fgov.be/interfaoifnl/Giften/Instellingen/inleiding.htm#L (NL) and http://fiscus.fgov.be/interfaoiffr/Giften/Instellingen/inleiding.htm#L (FR)

We keep on supporting other organisations that accept to abide by the above-mentioned principles in full respect of the Law.

 “A B-25 back to Belgium” is a private project.

 The BAMF asbl, as a non-profit organisation, decided to help individuals and relatives of B-25 Belgian crews in their desire to establish a memorial to RAF, Dutch, Commonwealth and Belgian B-25 crews that fought for the liberation of Europe and were members of  the first Allied unit based in Brussels (Melsbroek) after the liberation of Belgium.

 BAMF is short of cash because of the B-25 project.

 Again, please refer to our accounts. By the way, we successfully funded the de Caters project in 2008. In 2009, we funded the Fieseler Storch wings’ restoration and purchased parts for the Chipmunk. (Our grand children will probably restore this particular aircraft, if you consider obstacles we sometimes have to tackle, such as the recent restricted Saturday access to our workshops)

What is nevertheless true is that we must strictly control our spending to allow an efficient use of the funds made available to us by our sponsors.

Twice the Authorities successfully audited BAMF asbl in 2009. As a matter of fact, recurring audits by the legal Authorities enforce our position and increase our sponsors’ trust in our good practices, in full respect of the Law.

 Since starting “A B-25 back to Belgium” project, BAMF canceled support to other projects, among which the restoration of the Aviatik.

 The Aviatik restoration project was from the start a BAMRS (Brussels Air Museum Restoration Society – integrated within AELR asbl) project, initiated by Pierre Cryns and René Vanderit. Many years ago they decided to slow the project when they discovered that the wooden airframe would not support the weight of the engine without a costlier restoration.

At the time this decision was taken, there was no money available for such an ambitious task. Time passed, Pierre and René became the cornerstone of the successful Battaille restoration, followed by the rebuild of the de Caters airplane. By then, the Aviatik was a sleeping lady.

BAMF asbl invested limited resources to evaluate the costs of the Aviatik restoration. All available documentation was preserved for future use. One of the world’s best-qualified organisations for such a project estimated the restoration at around 70.000 Euro. Since then, no sponsor has accepted to support this project yet. We remain open to offers meant to preserve this unique aircraft.

 Volunteers working on the B-25 are not covered by insurance.

 Trust that BAMF asbl did not start the B-25 project without a careful evaluation of the risks involved. One of them was the possibility of accidents and the related damage, primarily to people. We took an insurance covering those risks, and will keep it going until the project ends. Contract details are available on request (treasurer@BAMF asbl.be)

 Most of us volunteers are active in the economic world. Concluding suppliers’ contracts to ensure the requirements, quality, costs and results are met is part of our day to day good practices.  

 The Museum (MRA – KLM) does not want the B-25.

 The policy of the Museum about accepting donations is clear and transparent and there is a process covering the issue. The B-25 will not officially be offered to the Museum until showed to the public. It will then be the Museum’s decision to accept it.

We already thank the Museum’s Management and staff for their support and help, in strict respect of the Museum’s mission, regulations and the Law.

You may (rightfully so) be confused by the “Brussels Air Museum”, which is our “marque de fabrique” and the Museum itself. As people know (maybe not all journalists), the “Brussels Air Museum” is in fact the popular name for a department within the Royal Army Museum and is no way the official name of that department.

 The B-25 project impacts other restoration projects.

 Volunteers working on the B-25 do so during their holidays, either at home or at night. They also perform their restoration tasks during the workshop’s idle time. (We take this opportunity to thank the existing confusion around workshop’s Saturday’s availability as it allows unexpected progress to be made on the B-25 restoration).

 Volunteers working on the B-25 have acquired solid experience on other aircraft restoration and they work in parallel on different airframes: Mosquito, Dragon Rapide, gliders, Tipsies. The resources allocated for these projects are not managed by BAMF asbl, so we have very limited impact on the progress of those restorations.

 Motivating talented and competent volunteers, offering their free time and sometimes financing supplies out of their own pocket, is a subtle art.

 This aircraft is a rotten wreck - most of the parts are missing.

 Well, what would you expect from an airplane that is 50+ years old, and spent several years in the open, on a field? During cleaning prior to sanding the airframe, we even found a dead rabbit in a wing structure! The plane’s structure is sound and solid, as we found out during the disassembly that took place before sanding and protection. Facts are that we are looking for engines, engine cowlings, machine guns, dashboard instruments, to name a few. Our target is to rebuild the aircraft in display condition.

 By the way, it was the only available aircraft within our limited budget. At the time of acquisition, B-25 airframes (in better state) were available for around 800.000 USD. We paid a lot less …

 Successful aircraft restorations (sometimes to flying conditions!) were also concluded elsewhere in the world or in Belgium on airframes in a more sorry state than our B-25’s.

 “Nobody” at the Museum is informed.

 Form the project initial stages, both Comopsair and the Museum’s management were informed and are since kept informed of the project progress on a direct, regular basis. By the way, who is “nobody”, and why did he not complain to us?

 This is not a WWII aircraft.

 The North-American B-25 first prototype flew in 1939. Made famous by General Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo in 1942, the B-25 flew for the Allied Forces from 1941 until 1960! Belgian pilots on training in the USA during the 1950’s had the opportunity to fly  B-25s used as liaison aircrafts. Our Mitchell was manufactured at the end of WW2. She is not an original RAF veteran. To find one, maybe the best place would be in the depths of the North Sea. If our B-25 is not an original WW II aircraft, she is representative of the B-25s flown by Allied crews.

But what is the point? True, this aircraft never took part in a war mission, maybe the reason why she still exists today. But this airplane is a cinema star, and “flew” under the brilliant leadership of Harrison Ford in the film “Hannover street”.

For more information about the B-25 airplane, please check http://www.aviation-history.com/north-american/b25.html .

For full and transparent information about the B-25 project, please visit http://www.bamf.be/?A_B-25_Back_to_Belgium

 This aircraft has no connection with Belgium.

 Belgian pilots and crews flew the B-25, and B-25s took a active role during the von Runsted offensive (the battle of the bulge). The first raid of RAF B-25 in 1943 had Gent as target. Mitchells operated above Gent, St Ghislain or Charleroi.

For full and transparent information about the B-25 project, please visit http://www.bamf.be/?A_B-25_Back_to_Belgium

 BAMF/BAMRS lack the capacity to conduct the restoration of the B-25.

The BAMRS has no official statute, the reason why it could not play a direct role in the B-25 project.

BAMF asbl capacity is only limited by funds availability. We have successfully supported more technically challenging projects in the past, we will no doubt be confronted with new issues here, but take note: other organisations, flying B-25J just like ours, visited our workshop several times and offered advice and hands-on support, greatly contributing to the B-25 project objectives.

We are not alone.

 BAMF asbl disseminates (disinforms) incorrect information.

 We only communicate information that relates to our projects or our social object. This information is published exclusively via our site. (Thank you for consulting it).

Many organizations around the world trust our information to the point of publishing it via their own media. Indeed, we remain open to collaboration with other organizations, groups or persons having a common passion for aviation.

We do our best to avoid publications that can lead to conflicts or amplify existing tensions. Unfortunately, our publications could be viewed by misinformed or frustrated minds as being a criticism. It is not the case, and we herewith apologize for potential misunderstandings our posted information could create.

Please remember that nothing is laudable if criticism is forbidden.

 “ A B-25 back to Belgium” project is open to all. We do not impose restrictions, such as being member of a related organization. Accepting volunteers decision is based on the best use of our limited financial and human resources, in full respect of the Laws. This approach reduces frustrations and ensures our sponsors that their gifts will be used to the sole benefit of aviation heritage.

 If you have more questions, please enquire before trusting rumours: secgen@BAMF.be

 Version 4 May 2010