Teenager who tracks Elon Musk’s private jet says he might stop in exchange for a new Tesla

Jack Sweeney, 19, said he didn’t want to give up a fun hobby without getting something that would ‘change his life’

Teen who tracks Elon Musk's private jet says he'll stop for a new Tesla
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A teenager who publicly tracks the movements of Elon Musk's private jet has said he might stop doing it if the billionaire gives him a new Tesla.

Jack Sweeney, 19, who regularly broadcasts Mr Musk's flights from the Twitter account @ElonJet, said in an interview on Saturday that he would consider shutting down the account in exchange for $50,000 (£36,863) or his own car.

“I just started it as a hobby, and I don't want to let go of a hobby for something that's not really going to change my life,” Mr Sweeney told CNN anchor Michael Smerconish.

“I don't have a car right now, and it would be great to have a car. And [a Tesla] would be a really cool cars.”

The teenager previously revealed that Mr Musk had sent him a private message on Twitter asking him to take the account down because it was a “security risk”, saying: “I don't love the idea of being shot by a nutcase.”

Mr Sweeney said the Tesla and SpaceX boss, who is the world's richest person according to Bloomberg with a net worth of $224 billion, offered him $5,000 to stop, which he refused.

“There is some merit to [Mr Musk's claim], but I don't know if he's being completely truthful that it's all security,” said Mr Sweeney on Saturday. “Maybe he just doesn't want to be seen.”

The Independent has asked Tesla and SpaceX for comment.

Like most aircraft, the movements of Mr Musk's private Gulfstream jet are publicly available from flight tracking databases such as OpenSky, although Mr Musk has requested some data providers hide his jet from their users.

Mr Sweeney also tracks private jets used by Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and former president Donald Trump.

However, @ElonJet has received fierce opposition from Mr Musk's many fans, some of whom have a history of mobbing and harassing his critics on Twitter.

“This account has every right to post jet whereabouts,” said Mr Sweeney through the Twitter account last month. “ADS-B data is public, every aircraft in the world is required to have a transponder, even [Air Force One, the US presidential jet].”

One person responded: “What you're doing is putting Elon in danger. You should take this down.” Another said: “Its not a case of legality, it's a question of decency.”

Mr Sweeney is studying IT at the University of Central Florida with the hope of working in aviation software.

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