Burnett manages to radio the Admiral (Hackman) to arrange a pick-up point, and asks him to be there in person. Burnett hitches a ride from Elvis in a pick-up truck with some friendly teenagers in the back, but they run straight into the Serbian army and a small band of resistance fighters.
Hiding out in a department store, a tank smashes through the front wall and the army open fire. Burnett ditches his flight gear - swapping them for a Serbian army kit and gets away. The General finds the pilot's body and parade their catch on Sky News. The Admiral likes to watch his Sky tv from the ocean, and is left devastated when he sees the news report.
Burnett almost gives up, tells the teenager with him to go away, and then hatches a plan to turn on his survival beacon that is on the ejactor seat near the big statue.
The tracksuit guy realises that Burnett must still be alive, so with the tall army captain they start to hunt the pilot. They follow a few clues, until the captain stands on a land mine and is left by the Adidas assassin.
Burnett has reached the ejector seat on the frozen lake and triggered the beacon - which has alerted the Admiral. He knows his job is at risk, but gathers together a Task Force to bring him home. Meanwhile an explosion in the distance causes Burnett to hide.
The assassin lies in wait with his sniper rifle, but when the navy choppers start to show he makes a move towards the seat - to be surprised by Owen Wilson who is hiding in some snow nearby. The assassin is shot several times, but is still fighting and shoots Burnett in the shoulder, until the pilot slams a flare into his enemy's chest.
The navy show up the same time as the Serbian army have approached the position and there's a major battle. Burnett grabs the aerial photo CD and is winched away. On the chopper he asks the Admiral to return his resignation letter. Landing back on the aircraft carrier, he is hailed a hero by all the Top Gun style support crew.
In the closing credits we're told that Burnett kept on serving in the navy, but the Admiral was demoted - and rather than take an administrative job in Washington he chose to retire and keep the respect of his crew members. General Miroslav Lokar was tried for war crimes including mass genocide with evidence that Burnett had collected.