In ultralight aircraft ballistic recovery systems are becoming more popular and some aircraft are sold with them as standard equipment. I've looked but haven't found any for our size of UAVs. Is anyone aware of a company that makes them? Perhaps those used in model rocketry could be adapted...
For those who haven't heard of Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) they are emergency parachutes that are manually or barometrically deployed in emergencies. They lower a distressed aircraft safely to the ground. With investments in the thousands (not to mention sweat equity) it seems like a worthy accessory, both to reduce damage and raise safety.
I found this discussion on RCGroups: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1480558