A Florida teenager who made headlines earlier this year for tracking billionaire Elon Musk’s jet has set his sight on new targets — Russian oligarchs.
Jack Sweeney, 19, has created a Twitter account called Russian Oligarch Jets, which tracks the whereabouts of more than 20 aircraft owned by Russian billionaires and tycoons.
Sweeney crowdsources information for the automated tracking system he created by utilizing Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data. He has been upfront about the fact that some of the information isn’t fully accurate due to a lack of flight information in Russia.
ADS-B data is public and every aircraft in the world is required to have a transponder — or an electric device that uses radiofrequency interrogation to track its whereabouts. Transponders are most commonly used to track aircraft on air traffic control radar.
According to Business Insider, Sweeney uses his automated tracking system to follow the flights of planes registered to Russian VIPs, including the country’s president Vladimir Putin.
Sweeney started trending in January after billionaire, and current Texas resident, Elon Musk asked him to take down a Twitter account that tracked Musk’s jet.
Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to take down the account, known as @ElonJet, and told the teen it was a security risk.
Sweeney countered for $50,000 and Musk declined so the Twitter account remains, according to a report from Protocol.
Tracking all of the following. pic.twitter.com/cUW5rwS0el
— Russian Oligarch Jets (@RUOligarchJets) February 27, 2022