His primary job was as a pilot. He was NOT expected to kill himself, never was required, either.
From: Memorandum of Discussion at the 445th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, May 24, 1960.
“Secretary Gates asked whether the pilot of the U-2 had been briefed to tell the truth if he were captured. Mr. Dulles said the pilot had been told to reveal whatever he himself knew, including the fact that he worked for CIA.”
FGP acted honorable and with courage given the situation, expectations and circumstances.
Then why was he given the capsule?
He failed to protect his country. Back in the day he was considered a joke and a coward after this. That’s why he had a job flying a news chopper.