Powered paragliders usually fly between 15 and 50 mph (25 and 72 km/h) at altitudes from 'foot-dragging on the water' up to 24,000+ ft (5400 m) although most flying is done under 500 ft (150 m) AGL (above ground level). Due to the paramotor's slow forward speed, it must not be flown in conditions of high wind, turbulence, or intense thermal activity.
The paramotor, weighing from 45 to 90 pounds (20 to 40 kg) is supported by the pilot during takeoff. After a brief run (typically 10 feet or 3 metres) the wing lifts the motor and its harnessed pilot off the ground. After takeoff, the pilot gets into the seat and sits suspended beneath the inflated paraglider wing. Control is available using brake toggles for roll and a hand-held throttle for pitch.