By cross-checking several types of data, a young American has created Twitter accounts to track the flying devices of personalities.
Jack Sweeney is a 19-year-old American, who has a passion for the field of aviation in addition to his computer skills. The young man recently became famous on the net when he tracked down the American billionaire Elon Musk. He had, for the occasion, created a Twitter account dedicated to following the movements of the boss of Tesla.
But the latter is far from being his only target: he has more than fifteen automated accounts dedicated to regularly documenting the thefts of all kinds of personalities like Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. Now, given the international context of war between Russia and Ukraine, Jack Sweeney is interested in a new target, more topical: the Russian oligarchs, spotted Bloomberg.
Track down Russian planes
On his Twitter account @RUOligarchJets The aircraft movement data of a number of these Russian businessmen, such as Chelsea club owner Roman Abramovich and steel magnate Alexander Abramov, are therefore regularly published. He also created an account dedicated to Russian President Vladimir Putin, @PutinJet.
To locate the planes, Sweeney uses public data from government agencies, and crosses it with that of ADS-B Exchange, a real-time location service for international air traffic. The wealth of data available enabled him to identify the owners, who are normally anonymized in official documents.
In the following document, which he shared on his Twitter account, Sweeney listed a number of these Russian oligarchs and annotated their aircraft identifiers.
“Their planes are huge”
Bloomberg recalls, however, that, if the follow-up of these flights can be fun, their journeys are not contextualized: the device will not necessarily transport its owner – all the more so in the case of Vladimir Putin. However, his account quickly found a very large audience.
“These people’s devices are absolutely insane. Their planes are huge compared to regular jets,” Sweeney told Bloomberg. He indicates that most of the models followed are Airbus A319s and Boeing 737s, usually dedicated to long-haul flights.
“Roman Abramovic’s jet just took off near Moscow,” the tweet read.
The young man also specifies that the data can sometimes be subject to inaccuracies, the Russian president holding several devices in order to cover his tracks. The Twitter account dedicated to Russian oligarchs, created in February 2022, has more than 245,800 subscribers.