Jack Sweeney, the 19-year-old who has been tracking Elon Musk’s jet, has now decided to track the movements of other billionaires.
Sweeney has revealed he is launching Ground Control, which will monitor the flight activity of high-profile business figures, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
Sweeney hopes to make money from ‘Ground Control’, knowing that firms including Nasdaq Data Link have begun offering private and corporate aviation intelligence to clients who hope to get a leg up with critical business information.
The University of Central Florida student told Bloomberg:
Companies in flight tracking have millions in revenue per year. Just a small cut of what they make would be good revenue for me.
Meanwhile, he has been running the Twitter account ‘Elon’s Jet‘ since June 2020. The account shows the movements of Musk’s private jet using bots that monitor publicly available air traffic data.
Musk and Sweeney’s DM exchange that Sweeney rejected $5,000 from Musk to delete the account and stop tracking his private jet, asking for an amount of $50,000, then later asked for an internship instead.
However, he revealed that Elon subsequently ignored and blocked him:
You know, it’s kinda strange, he wants it down and seems like he’s really mad.
Colby Howard, the president of Paragon Intel — which provides corporate aviation intelligence through its product JetTrack — warns that earning a profit from providing this kind of information may have ramifications much like it did for App Annie, an alternative data provider that got hit with charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2021.