Wealth

Elon Musk has taken even shorter flights than Kylie Jenner’s 17-minute trip, says jet-tracking teen

When Kylie Jenner’s very brief flight on a private jet went viral last week, people were outraged — largely about the environmental impact of the trip.

Jack Sweeney didn’t seem to be bothered. The 19-year-old’s Twitter account @CelebJets publicized Jenner’s tripSince January, he has made a name for his self by tracking the private planes of billionaires as well as celebrities. He believes Jenner’s reaction was a surprise. 17-minute flightHe was only surprised because Elon Musk has taken shorter flights on his private plane without as much fuss.

Sweeney says Musk has flown multiple times from Los Angeles International Airport to Hawthorne Airport, which are about six miles — a 10-minute drive — apart. This is much shorter than Jenner’s 40-mile flight from Camarillo (California) to Van Nuys (California).

“I’m not really” [surprised]People react,” Sweeney told CNBC Make It. “There are many reasons they might be surprised. The fact that [flights]You can even track it, so you know it’s a celebrity flight and a quick one.”

CNBC Make Its asked Musk for comment but Musk did not respond immediately.

Sweeney is a University of Central Florida sophomore. He also writes software for UberJets. He controls 30 Twitter accounts that track private jets of billionaires and celebrities, as well as Russian oligarchs. His most popular handle, @ElonJet, tracks Musk’s movements — and went viral in January after Sweeney declined Musk’s offer to take the account down for $5,000. This handle now has over 478,000 followers.

The accounts, which were created in June 2020 and are now active worldwide, publish flight coordinates automatically from code Sweeney created to pull data from public websites such as www.public.gov. ADS-B ExchangeThese provide information about the speed, altitude, and location of every federally regulated aircraft.

Sweeney points out that data can sometimes be misleading. Short flights can often be explained with a simple explanation: The pilot drops off the passenger at one airport, then parks the plane at another nearby.

 “I believe [Jenner’s short flight]Sweeney tweeted last Wednesday that the plane was being parked in Camarillo while they take off at Van Nuys. “Same thing with Kim [Kardashian]. It is likely to be cheaper to park your aircraft in Camarillo.

Sweeney’s theory is supported by Drake, the music star, whose whereabouts can also be tracked on @CelebJets. Comment on Tuesday an Instagram post about Drake’s own extra-short flights, the rapper wrote: “This is just them moving planes to whatever airport they are being stored at for anyone who was interested in the logistics… nobody takes that flight.”

Sweeney’s flight-tracking efforts have been accused recently of violating celebrities’ privacy. Sweeney’s code pulls from public records, but he remains adamant. He said that anyone with the motivation can access the data, and celebrities don’t hesitate to post photos of their jets onto social media.

Sweeney states, “People have private planes and they post all of the pictures on them.” It’s not secret.

For now, Sweeney says his side hustle remains fairly passive – and not very lucrative. He makes a few hundred dollars a month from ad revenues and donations to his site. He said he hopes to make the project more financially viable. He listed ideas like making his website a celebrity flight tracker, or offering carbon offsets on some of the flights he monitors.

Just don’t expect any major updates in the coming months: Sweeney says he’s spending the summer traveling and working, and won’t expand his code — primarily by adding more jets to his project — until he returns to campus this fall.

Sweeney states, “The funny thing about it is that when my school is back, I feel like there’s more to do.” “There are fewer distractions.”

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Source: CNBC

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