Enter the Stanley knife blade
As I suspected, the figures don't link well with the aircraft and spoil the flow of action. So I reach for the oil painters correction tool - the Stanley knife blade! When painting in Acrylics correction is an easy matter, simply paint over the error with white paint. Once dry one can redraw or paint over the area without fear of the original image bleeding through over time. With Oils I always scrape down to the underpainting when major changes are necessary, as in this case. I sketch in the new figures roughly to see if they fit more comfortably. I still need a figure beyond them to act as a stop point for the eye. Likewise the two figures behind the Gannet and the Flight Deck Officer. They all serve to mark the boundaries of the action.