As I continue to meditate on the recommended grounding of my 601XL, I find myself more frequently browsing the ads in Barnstormer. One caught my eye today for a Ballistic Recovery Chute for $1200. My mind then wandered to a concept learned many years ago in an Economics class. The concept of opportunity cost - if I spend my money on mods, I will not be able to spend it on other things. Whatever I don't buy because of the mods represents an opportunity cost of the mods.
I still don't have any good information about what the mods will cost. I suspect materials and labor will be way more than a BRS system installed. So which option would increase my overall safety? My plane has flown fine for 400 hours and it is light due to the Rotax. I had complied with all prior recommendations and inspections. What is the probability that I am going to have an in-flight break-up due to design coupled with operational issues? A BRS system would protect me and others from break-up during most phases of flight. It would also protect me if I inadvertently wandered into IMC and became spatially disoriented. It would protect me if my engine quit and I couldn't find a suitable place to land or if I became incapacitated in flight it would protect me and maybe a passenger. The mod, on the other hand, may prevent an in-flight break-up but that is it.
All else being equal, I would rather shell out the bucks for a BRS and not tear my airplane apart. Given that there is no clear cause and effect identified for the 601 incidents, shouldn't an owner be given this as an option?