I am on a ship that has a vehicle parked in its hangar bay. From the cockpit of the ship, I initiated a descent from the atmosphere level to a planet's surface. Once the descent started, I moved to the hangar bay and entered the vehicle, to pass the time by writing room descriptions.
When I exited the vehicle, I found that the ship has stopped its descent, and I was still in the atmosphere level. Since there is no requirement that pilots stay "at the wheel" during surface-atmospheric-orbital movements, I assume this has something to do with a check that there are currently passengers on board a moving ship, in order for it to maintain its "traveling" status. (I had noticed earlier that passengers inside a vehicle inside a ship do not count against the ship's passenger limit. Ergo, if a ship's sole passenger enters a vehicle, the ship's passenger count will drop to zero.) Or perhaps it is more specific, requiring that a ship's assigned pilot be detecting on board in order for movement to progress.
Is this behavior by design? If so, would it be possible to implement a small warning of some kind, to the effect of "If you enter this vehicle, your ship's progress will no longer be monitored, and will stop."?
The game only detects your "container" to one level. So entering a ship or vehicle within the ship you are piloting is seen by the game as "leaving" it. Changing this for any reason is an annoying mess of additional queries (as I understand it) which will slow the server, as they'd need to be checked for every entity at any given time.
I'd suggest simply working with the restriction, and keeping your creative writing projects limited to the other rooms of the ship you're currently on. ;)
"May the Grace of Ara go with you, and His Vengeance be wrought upon your enemies."
My first impulse was to try to come up with a theoretical query that could handle such a conundrum with a few simple joins added in, but I realized the situation is considerably more complicated than that!
Right now, I imagine the working check is something along the lines of "is Pilot A located within Ship A?" I can imagine a PHP loop that would examine Pilot A's location, as well as if that location is an entity with a "Docked In" value. If it is a docked entity, the loop would move up the chain checking if the container entity is the object-in-motion Pilot A is supposed to be piloting.
Of course, this sort of thing would not only add PHP loops to the server strain, but multiple successive queries to the database. Yowch.
For example, if I were to park my FK-7 inside my Sandcrawler inside my AT-AT Barge inside my Bulk Freighter... well, that's a lot of checking-up-the-chain just to determine if a pilot is really on board his ship.
So anyway, thanks for the answers and an afternoon's diversion. :)