College student who tracked Elon Musk’s private jet is now following Ron DeSantis

‘Well, you know Ron DeSantis is becoming more and more of a public figure in that he might run for the White House’

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 24 May 2023 08:00 BST
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Related: Ron DeSantis blows up at reporter over question about Guantanamo Bay prisoner claims

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The college student who tracked Elon Musk’s private jet on Twitter has now turned his focus on Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

Jack Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida, created a Twitter account called “@DeSantisJet", which tracks the whereabouts of the aircraft that Mr DeSantis uses.

The automated feed tracks the governor's 10-seat Textron jet with tail number N943FL, which is owned by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The data is shared 24 hours later to “comply” with Twitter's anti-doxxing rules. His account has already garnered over 15,800 followers.

It was set up to track Mr DeSantis because of the "rising interest" in the governor amid speculations of him running for the 2024 presidential election, Mr Sweeney told Insider.

“Well, you know Ron DeSantis is becoming more and more of a public figure in that he might run for the White House,” he added.

Mr DeSantis on 11 May signed a bill into law that will redact details about trips he makes on both state planes and private, chartered flights, including names of staff and family members travelling with him.

However, his movements can be still monitored using publicly available data from ADS-B Exchange, a flight-tracking platform.

Mr Sweeney on Monday tweeted that the account tracks the Textron jet which the governor uses for state-related matters. Flights of the aircraft do not guarantee that Mr DeSantis is onboard, he said.

"As others have noted, DeSantis also gets rides on political donors’ planes for personal matters. If we become aware of these flights, it will also be shared here.”

The student shared the first tweet about the governor’s travels on 19 May when he flew from Tallahassee to Tampa and back.

Mr Sweeney gained popularity after Mr Musk tried to purchase the @ElonJet account, which tracked the billionaire's jet, for $5,000. The student refused the offer and when Mr Musk took over Twitter, he suspended the account.

Mr Sweeney got around the ban by creating a new account @ElonJetNextDay, where tracking data of Mr Musk's jets are shared with a 24-hour delay.

The student told News Channel 8 he is not motivated by a political agenda. “People can do what they want,” he said.

“There can be supporters that are interested in where he goes and want to follow them or people who are more criticizing for what flights they’re going where.”

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