Our Lear had both T/Rs and a chute. I never really felt that either one was a necessity, but it was nice to have the T/Rs. Our chute opened everytime I tried, but I agree with you I would never count on it. It was pretty much a non-event when you deployed it - you didn't feel much at all, just a slight tug followed by a slightly faster than normal deceleration. It was most effective from touchdown through about 80 knots or so, after that I don't think it did much. We released the chute on the runway and always had a crew standing by to recover it - you didn't want to get the bloody thing hung up on anything - they were pretty expensive to replace. I was pretty surprised when I saw it. I quess that I was expecting a round chute like a jet fighter's, instead the Lear's chute is shaped like a large +, just like the ones on dragsters. Somewhere I have a picture that was taken of us when we deployed the chute. If I can find it, I'll post it. It's actually pretty cool.