Using a grabber/claw probe with RCS mounted to the nose of my craft with a decoupler. Launch, retrieve the space junk, and usually decouple, then use RCS to burn retrograde and separately re-enter Kerbin atmosphere. The re-enter with the pod separately. This occasion, I happened to burn up my RCS tank. I then decided I would try double re-entry. Burn retro to about 20k. Decouple, set both to SAS retrograde, check my automatic chutes were armed, focus on my grabber probe, probe successfully landed junk in the ocean, retrieve craft, done. Go to retrieve pod, and realize I had killed 3 Kerbin. The automatic chutes did not deploy if I was not flying/watching that craft. I had also noticed that SAS would not stay on if I switched crafts. Obviously, this would not have happened if I had not had to alter my plans. My only real question is why did the automatic chutes not deploy? Or is it as simple as "you need to be flying craft A for the chutes to deploy on Craft A. "