Teen Who Tracked Elon Musk’s Jet Is Now Chasing Russian Tycoons
19-year-old Jack Sweeney is following the aircraft of Russia’s billionaires as they come under international pressure over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Jack Sweeney is now doing to Russian oligarchs what he did to Elon Musk.
After soaring to internet fame — and drawing the ire of the world’s richest person — with his viral Twitter account “Elon’s Jet,” Sweeney is now tracking the planes of some of Russia’s richest people, as they come under increasing international pressure over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
So yeah @PutinJet is live now :), don't expect this to be too accurate though there are a dozen VIP Russian planes, and ADS-B coverage isn't great in Russia.
— Jack Sweeney (@JxckSweeney) February 26, 2022
While the 19-year-old is hardly the only person to offer such services, what makes Sweeney’s accounts so unique is their easy accessibility and the enticing window they offer into the lives of today’s billionaires. Colby Howard, the president of Paragon Intel — which provides corporate aviation intelligence through its product JetTrack — told Bloomberg that Sweeney’s Twitter accounts are the “People Magazine version” of corporate aviation intelligence.
“People are obsessed with wealth more than ever. It’s almost a form of paparazzi, that’s why this is popular,” Howard said.
Sweeney, for his part, says he started the accounts after receiving numerous requests to track the aircrafts of Russia’s oligarchs. Using a list of planes being tracked by a blog called “Radar Spots,” the teen was able to quickly set up yet another Twitter account. It’s garnered more than 53,000 followers in just a matter of days.
“The aircrafts these oligarchs have are absolutely crazy,” Sweeney told Bloomberg, noting that Russia’s richest people were traveling on commercial-sized aircrafts like an Airbus A319 and Boeing 737. “Their planes are huge compared to other jets.”
The Russian Oligarch Jets account tracks various aircrafts from helicopters, private jets, and commercial-sized airplanes, including those owned by Vladimir Potanin — Russia’s richest person — Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich and steel billionaire Alexander Abramov.
While it may be fascinating for the average person to see where the Russian oligarchs are jet setting to next, Paragon’s Howard notes that it doesn’t include information to contextualize the flights — like who may be on the flights or the historical significance of the movement and other information that would be needed by intelligence officers or investors to make critical decisions.
“One jet flying through Miami holding who knows who doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t tell you what information matters and what context do you need to make an decision,» Howard said.