AFA is the answer to the server segregation problem. Basically if you have the option for an “advanced” flight model and a simplistic one, you will always end up with a splitting of the playerbase into two distinct groups. For a niche genre like flight sims, this makes it even more difficult to find matches for the type of game you’re looking for.
AFA solves this issue by applying the same realistic flight rules to all aircraft within a multiplayer match – but varying the level of computer assistance by player skill. The computer assistance will steer pilots clear of adverse flight conditions by re-interpreting their input and limiting the output generated by control movements.
In the real world this is called “Fly by Wire” and is used to make some aircraft controllable when otherwise they wouldn’t be. Basically, by putting a computer between the pilot and the control surfaces you can make any aircraft fly like any other aircraft that is within its performance envelope: an F-16 could fly like a Cessna, for instance.
As one example, your aircraft is approaching the Angle of Attack (AoA) where it will stall. Depending on how high of a setting you have your AFA at, it will kick in right when you reach the stall angle, sometime before it, or not at all. When/if it kicks in, it will nose your aircraft down to prevent the stall from happening or it will just not accept further back-stick input. In a spin, as demonstrated in the trailer, full AFA will completely take over your aircraft and return it to level flight.