There are 2 types of pilots in the game: Common and Legendary.
Common Pilot: this type has a blue colored background. All Common Pilots start with an initial ability when equipped with a vehicle. This ability is especially linked to the vehicle it is currently using. Every 10th level the pilot gains a new rank and can learn a new ability that gives the vehicle it is piloting a bonus. Common Pilot can learn up to 7 abilities and can reach a maximum level of 70. With each individual level up the ability that is currently being trained increases its effectiveness.
Legendary Pilot: this type has a yellow-colored background. Legendary Pilots share everything a Common Pilot is capable of, but with some exceptions. Their first Ability is gold colored, is for a particular vehicle, and is not available for Common Pilot. Also, Legendary Pilot Abilities can be upgraded to Tier 4. All this gives them a unique advantage when piloting the vehicle they are specialized for.
[Example of a Common Pilot]
[Example of Legendary Pilot]