Student who tracks Elon Musk’s private jet now targeting Russian oligarchs

A teenage student who tracked Elon Musk's private jet through a Twitter account has now set his sights on tracking Russian oligarchs.

University of Central Florida freshman student Jack Sweeney set up a new Twitter account called @RUOligarchJets which he claims can track the movements of various aircrafts owned by Russian billionaires.

The teen says the bots detect air traffic data and track them through the social media app.

Sweeney, who says he knew very little about Russian billionaires or their planes, started the account after he received several requests to track the aircrafts of Russian oligarchs following the invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to Bloomberg, he said: "Before this, I didn't even know there were these influential oligarchs like this. They probably do have a decent amount of power from what I can understand.

"The aircrafts these oligarchs have are absolutely crazy. Their planes are huge compared to other jets."

Tracked jets include those owned by Russia's richest resident, Vladimir Potanin, as well as Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich and steel billionaire Alexander Abramov.

Sweeney's account currently tracks 39 planes and helicopters belonging to 19 different oligarchs.

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Sweeney said: "People have been asking me about Putin for a while, they wanted to know if they could track him.

"It's just been crazy. I just figured some people would be interested in it. I just didn't think all kinds of people would be."

To get the account up and tracking Russian oligarch planes, Sweeney used a list of planes, from private jets and helicopters to commercial-sized aircraft that was already in use on a blog named Radar Spots.

Sweeney has set up another account to track Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian VIPs, but warns that the information may not be particularly accurate due to the limited flight data.

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Sweeney had come to the attention of Elon Musk on the social media platform after the SpaceX founder asked Sweeney to shut down his Twitter account tracking his private jet.

Musk had asked Sweeney to take the account down for $5,000 (£3,700) after he called it a "security risk," but Sweeney countered and asked for $50,000 (£37,000), which Musk refused.

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