Govt regulator allows teen to track Elon Musk’s jets
The Florida college student who wanted $50,000 from Elon Musk to stop tracking the billionaire’s private plane now says he has permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to monitor all SpaceX jets.
Jack Sweeney, who studies at the University of Central Florida, took to Twitter on Saturday to announce that his Freedom of Information Act request to the FAA “went thru.”
“Now I have all the registration and airworthiness documents for all the SpaceX jets,” the 19-year-old boasted.
In order to prove his claim, the student and aviation enthusiast shared a link to a website with the relevant papers of three jets owned by Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company.
My FAA FOIA request went thru, Now I have all the registration and airworthiness documents for all the SpaceX jets. https://t.co/znXWAqCQ9T— Jack Sweeney (@JxckSweeney) February 5, 2022
Sweeney made headlines in late January after being reportedly contacted by the world’s richest man, who wanted his Twitter account – @Elonjet – shut down.
The teen created a Twitter bot that had been tracking the movements of Musk’s private jet since June 2020 and he was reporting them online.
The entrepreneur insisted that the page was “a security risk” and offered $5,000 for it to be deleted. “I don't love the idea of being shot by a nutcase,” he explained in a private message.
But Sweeney attempted to negotiate a higher fee, asking for $50,000 instead, or an internship at Tesla, the electric car company also owned by Musk.
The businessman, whose net worth is estimated at $200 billion, refused to make a deal with the student and blocked him.
In his interview with the Guardian a week ago, Sweeney said he had created another 16 similar automated Twitter accounts to track the jets of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, movie producer Mark Cuban, rapper Drake, and other “prominent people.”
He earlier insisted that his activities were perfectly legal, as data from the Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS–B) technology, which determines the position of planes via satellite navigation and other means, is available to the public.