Flight routes on Twitter: Student tracks Musk’s private plane

Status: 05.02.2022 11:01 a.m

A student from Florida had an idea: he uses an app to follow Tesla boss Musk’s private jet – and publishes the flight routes on Twitter. A potentially lucrative hobby.

By Arthur Landwehr, ARD Studio Washington

“He offers me $5,000 if I turn it off”: 19-year-old Jack Sweeney from Florida suddenly had a text message from Tesla boss Elon Musk on his cell phone. Sweeney told a local television station that he should switch off his “ElonJet” Twitter account. It automatically follows Elon Musk’s private jet and publishes data and maps from his flights – all completely legally.

Arthur Landwehr
ARD-Studio Washington

“He Calls It Primitive”

But Musk is – surprise! – anything but enthusiastic, says Sweeney: “He doesn’t like the system, calls it primitive.” And, Musk continued in his message, he doesn’t want to be shot down by a lunatic.

Sweeney understands that, but he thinks $5,000 is modest from the richest person in the world. “I’ve put so much time and work into it. I also enjoy it. Compared to that, 5000 isn’t much.” At $50,000 he is willing to talk so that he can at least buy a Tesla or pay for his studies.

Account attracts followers

He gives Musk the tip for free on how to better hide the aircraft identification. Musk’s answer: none. Sweeney hasn’t heard from the Tesla boss. Only the data of the jet should now be better hidden. “But I know how to follow them,” says Sweeney – not only with Elon Musk, but also with others like Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates. Side effect: Sweeney’s Twitter account now has more than 100,000 subscribers.

Florida student tracks Elon Musk’s private jet

Arthur Landwehr, ARD Washington, 1/31/2022 4:28 p.m


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