Interesting article and has caused me a lot of thought.
I'm part of a VA, suppose to be setting up another in a partnership, and working out ways to get more people to fly within New Zealand, thinking that a VA was the way to do it, but this guy (sorry forgotten your name) has a point.
I don't feel any different flying for a VA, I don't find that it's all that great, in fact I've just checked my flightlog, in the last month I've flown 18 hours around New Zealand (not served by my VA, or Virtual Air New Zealand, who I also joined but can't get the Saab, my favourite plane working in Fs2k2 with a windows2k pro setup) and not a single hour for my VA. I'm not sure whether it's because I don't care about flying around America.
This chap mentioned, why not go to the airline of your choice and choose your flights, and I thought, yeah that sounds good, so I jumped on the Origin Pacific Website (now if I was going to set up a VA I would now do an Origin Pacific, but finding planes is terrible) picked a flight and flew it, compared it with their site, man, I fly slow, so I thought, ok, I went to my Grandparents last year to get married, so I got the wife, my plane tickets, grabbed a 737 that happened to be on the tarmac at Christchurch, took that to Wellington, (wow it's fun landing in Wellington) Jumped out of FS2k2, and went into FS2k (Saab works) and grabbed the Saab that was sitting at gate 10, and flew to Tauranga, I was 10 minutes late into Tauranga, missed the approach, and boy was it fun.
I can't see me completing any of my VA aspirations, and what I'm more likely do is set up a page with some really nice flights, especially out of Honolulu, and around New Zealand.
There is nothing like flying something that you see sitting on the apron, and to a real timeline, when I want and without having to go through the wait for Pireps to be sorted, and what do I get out of it.
My suggestion is, instead of filing Pireps, check out another flight.
My next goal? Wait till I see a Saab340 sitting on the FS2k2 apron on Christchurch, and take it around New Zealand.
Would like to hear what other people thought of the pirep