I've found the military action figures to work reasonably well, if you find one that isn't "overdone" with accessories that would make it not look convincing as a pilot. There does seem to be a lack of scale pilots, with anything more than a small amount of the chest included with the bust. You probably would want them only down to the waist, as the solid plastic moldings get heavy.
I've also given into adding balsa torsos to pilot figures such as Williams Brothers. Form them as a box with tri-stock corner inserts for sculpting latitude, and it does not add much weight after. At your span, the small WB pilot figures may be just about right.
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