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When titanium-plated vehicles are destroyed, the Pilot can escape into the battlefield. An escaped Pilot retains the veterancy status of his vehicle, so send him a new vehicle to apply his veterancy level to it.
- Generals manual(src)

Pilot is a generic term for anyone operating a vehicle. However when most American commanders refer to a 'Pilot', they are referring to Pilots who had survived the destruction of US vehicles.

Background[]

I have experience!
- Pilot

The US Military still has the finest pilots and combat training regimes in the world and these men are no exception. Their experience against GLA proved invaluable in the war. Able to escape from decimated vehicles and aircraft, they could return to their base and relay intel, give experience advice to other pilots and vehicle crews, and each one was more than willing to return to the fight, providing some demoralisation against the GLA.

US vehicles have titanium-plated cockpits and US aircraft equipped their pilots with ejection seats, as well as parachutes and basic survival kits, giving them a good chance of survival. Since Pilots able to survive such destruction were highly skilled, they were deemed a valuable asset. If they could be escorted to another vehicle, they could show its crew what they had learned on the battlefield, making them more efficient. Pilots cannot be trained from the barracks.

Game unit[]

Pilots are unique, untrainable "support" infantrymen found when a US vehicle is destroyed. Ground units will leave the Pilot standing amidst the wreckage, though downed aircraft will eject parachuting Pilots instead. Only one Pilot can be ejected per vehicle - any additional Pilots previously sent into a vehicle will not emerge upon its destruction. Note that Pilots can only emerge from newly made US vehicles - those whose original crew had been killed by special weapons like Neutron Shells, or Jarmen Kell's skills, or else had been seized by a Hijacker, will eject the infantryman instead.

The Pilot's main use is to promote other friendly vehicles nearby - he will inherit the veterancy rank of the vehicle he drove, and will pass it on to whichever vehicle he is sent to. If the unit he is sent to already has veterancy, his will stack on top of it, up to heroic rank. The unit he is sent to does not have to be the same as the one he originally drove. Pilots also have an usually impressive running speed compared to other infantry (presumably due to how they are not weighed down by gear). A Pilot's expertise can also be transferred to any allied vehicle, regardless of what vehicle the pilot was originally assigned to.

Effects[]

Pilots can occupy all of the game's factions' (GLA, China, USA) vehicles, but can only re-emerge from destroyed US vehicles again thanks to their superior pilot protection measures.

  • Pilot cannot enter non-combat vehicles such as construction dozers and Chinese supply trucks, who at any rate are incapable of gaining veterancy.
  • Pilots cannot enter vehicles that is already at heroic rank, as they won't be able to promote it.
  • Pilots cannot enter scout drones (unmanned unit) or bomb trucks (expendable suicide unit).
  • A pilot can provide a transport unit with veterancy, unless it is completely incapable of gaining any (such as Chinooks), in which case they will become a passenger.
  • Pilot can enter ECM tanks, which normally can only gain veterancy by running over infantry because they have no other means of offense.
  • Pilots can enter an aircraft that has already landed for some other purpose.
  • If a pilot enters a combat cycle, veterancy can be granted to its driver, even if the latter is a terrorist or a saboteur, units that normally cannot gain veterancy.
    • However, pilots cannot enter combat cycles driven by workers.

Upgrades[]

Now we're talking!
- Pilot
CNCG Chemical Suits Cameo Chemical Suits Upgrade makes the Pilots more resistant to toxins and radiations, aiding their survival of biohazard-laced attacks that destroy their vehicle. Purchasable at any Strategy center in Zero Hour for $1000
Gen1 Advanced Training Icons Advanced Training Allows vehicles to gain veteran status twice as fast, thus ejecting Pilots more often. Purchasable at any Strategy center for $1500

Important Note: These upgrades apply to the pilot only in the patched versions of the game.

Counters[]

I'm unarmed!
- Pilot

However, Pilots were still infantrymen, and being non-combatants, their armor was even worse than that of basic infantry. Nearly all anti-infantry weapons could quickly off a Pilot, who could do nothing more than run from the aggressor and hope for the best. Anti-air gunfire weapons such as the GLA Quad Cannon could kill parachuting Pilots before they even touched the ground. American Pathfinders could also eliminate them right as they emerge from their vehicle. Additionally, Pilots were often unable to withstand the effects of various Napalm, Nuclear, or Anthrax-related attacks, and if such a weapon destroyed their parent vehicle, they often were killed by the residual radiation or fire.

Though all infantry were vulnerable to being run down, Pilots were far more so. Though fast, they were still not faster than most vehicles, and quick ones such as the GLA Technical could pursue them and either run or gun them down. They were defenseless and unable retaliate against the vehicle attempting to crush them.

In general, the Pilot's nature meant that if he is in the middle of an attack force or near the player's base, he can easily escape and find another vehicle to assist, but if he is alone or isolated near enemy forces, he will likely perish. Odds were better if the pilot bailed out in an inactive map location.

Changelog[]

Selected Quotes[]

I'm unarmed!
- When surrendering
Ejecting!
- When eject
They got my vehicle!
- When eject
It's busted up!
- When eject
I'm out in the open!
- When eject
I escaped!
- When eject
Find me a vehicle
- When selected
Anything to drive?
- When selected
Where do you need me?
- When selected
Orders, General?
- When selected
Pilot of the USA!
- When selected
I have experience!
- When selected
Sure beats walking!
- When moving
Over there?
- When moving
Gotcha
- When moving
I'm on my way
- When moving
You got the map
- When moving
Laying low
- When moving
Any friendlies out here?
- When moving
I need help here
- Under fire
Got nothing to fight with
- Under fire
Help me out here
- Under fire
How about an extraction?
- Under fire
I need protection
- Under fire
Assuming control
- When ordered to enter vehicle
Fire it up
- When ordered to enter vehicle
Now we're talking
- When ordered to enter vehicle
At the wheel
- When ordered to enter vehicle
I'm unarmed!
- When surrendering
I surrender!
- When surrendering
I give up!
- When surrendering

Trivia[]

  • A pilot's health and speed depend upon his rank.
  • There is a maximum of three pilots that can promote one vehicle, due to how each adds one rank at least.
  • Pilots give American generals an edge over other generals in massive tank battles - not only can they pass on the combat effectiveness of their original vehicle to another in combat, but they also act as a "dummy" target when idle, and can cause enemy units to waste tank shells trying to kill them instead of actual combat units.
  • Any given vehicle can eject a maximum of only one Pilot, despite how most vehicles require entire crews to operate.
  • Pilots normally retain the team color of their general, though during Operation: Treasure Hunt the objective Pilots were colored red and also changed the color of the vehicle they promoted, if ordered to. However, they were unique in color only, and were controllable by the US general (whose forces were blue).

Behind the scenes[]

Gen USA Logo United States of America War against the GLA Arsenal Gen USA Logo
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