I think you're combining best-case with worst-case scenarios willy-nilly.
only help you if: 1) You lose altitude awareness. 2) You are very, very low with your main out and cutaway. 3) You fail to deploy your reserve immediately after cutting away your main when you are very low.
I'm not sure if you mean to AND or OR these (hopefully it was an OR). Either way, the real statement is that an RSL can help you if you cut away and fail to deploy your reserve in time.
RSL can hurt you if: 1) You cutaway and do not fail to deploy your reserve in time.
However, without quantifying the likelihood of an RSL hurting you in the second category, and without quantifying the likelihood of the first category, you're comparing apples and oranges.
So, in conclusion, an RSL can help 1% of the time, in situations that can be easily avoided, and hurt you 99% of the time.
This statement should probably be re-worded as "an RSL will save your life if (xxx) and has a small possibility of hurting you if (xxx).
Now you can go into the reasons why someone might be low. But it's just as easy to say (excluding camera, equipment, and CRW jumps) that someone who's cutting away should automatically as they cut away be arching, as it is to say that it's really really easy never to be low cutting away.
I'm not one to convince people to put RSLs on. I have far more jumps without than with. But the logic in here is faulty, and it's much better to argue with good logic.
(This post was edited by wmw999 on Aug 22, 2005, 1:47 PM)