Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old who observes the private jets of millionaires and celebrities, says Elon Musk has flown faster than Kylie Jenner’s most recent 17-minute trip.
Sweeney claims that Musk traveled by plane from Los Angeles International Airport to Hawthorne Airport, a distance of around ten minutes by car. That is far less than Jenner’s flight, which covered about 40 miles from Camarillo, California, to Van Nuys, California.
“I’m not real [surprised] people react,” Sweeney told CNBC.
“There are so many reasons why they should be surprised. The fact that [flights] even traceable, that it’s a celebrity and that it’s a quick flight.”
Sweeney, a sophomore student at college, manages 30 Twitter accounts that track the private jets of celebrities and multibillionaires. Following Musk’s every action, its most popular handle, @ElonJet, became viral in January after Sweeney turned down Musk’s $5,000 offer to delete the profile. Currently, the account has over 478,000 followers.
Sweeney developed software to gather information from sources, including ADS-B Exchange, that publishes the location, altitude, and speed data collected by each federally regulated flight.
However, Sweeney notes that data can occasionally be misleading, though. For example, short flights are typically explained vaguely.
Drake, a famous musician whose travels are also tracked on @CelebJets, agrees with Sweeney’s assessment.
“These are just those planes moving to the airport where they’re stored for anyone interested in logistics…no one is taking those,” Drake wrote on an Instagram post on Tuesday.
Sweeney’s efforts to track planes are said to have threatened the privacy of public figures. Given that the data he utilizes in his programming is easily accessible, it is questionable if he has genuinely crossed the line. He believes that anyone who has the motivation to learn may do so.
“People have the private planes, they put all these pictures on it,” Sweeney says. “It’s no secret.”