Twitter account tracking Elon Musk’s jet has been banned

The Twitter account @ElonJet which famously tracked Elon Musk’s travels on his private jet has been permanently suspended. The account was run by Jack Sweeney, who used it to track Musk’s Gulfstream G650. By Wedensday afternoon, all of Sweeney’s Twitter accounts, including his personal account and accounts used to track Space X activity and other jets, including those used by Russian oligarchs and Vladamir Putin had also been suspended.

Using data collected from the ADS-B network and the FAA database, Sweeney tweeted the collected flight information to his followers. Sweeney was reportedly offered $5,000 to stop tracking Musk’s jet. In December 2021, Musk privately messaged him about his concerns, stating “I don’t love the idea of being shot by a nutcase.”


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While much of the information Sweeney collected on Musk, the oligarchs, and other famous jet owners like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, is public, there is a question of how safe it is to post it on a social platform. Flight information like ATC controllers, runways, radars, lighting systems and navigation sources are paid for by subsidized taxes. This information is made public in the ATC system by the FAA, as many pilots rely on this data to plan flights and while flying.

Military aircraft and pilots that apply for Limited Aircraft Data Displayed (LADD) do not have all information available to the public. Aircraft owners can apply for a Privacy ICAO Address that allocates a temporary alternate address that is not tied to an operator in the Civil Aviation Registry.


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ADS-B, or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, relies on ground stations to receive reports and send info back to ATC. This feature has been around since 2004 and it was not until Jan. 1, 2020, that aircraft were required to have an ADS-B implemented. The components of the ADS-B Out use information like altitude and velocity for the aircraft to broadcast.

Even being on the block list, Sweeney was able to locate Musk’s jet using altitude and the time information was received to determine the exact location of the aircraft. He used tracking bots to obtain the information, not from the FAA-blocked list but from real-time ADS-B data from sites that post anonymized FAA flight plans.

Musk had previously stated he would not ban the account, despite what he called a risk to his safety. In a tweet, he cited that the freedom of speech extends to the account that was following his plane. Despite the push for free speech on Musk’s Twitter, the account was permanently suspended Wednesday morning.

On Sweeney’s personal Twitter he confirmed the account’s ban. He was promoting a new account on the Mastodon platform,, where he said he will continue tracking Musk’s jet. Tracking accounts on platforms including Facebook and Instagram remained actived on Wednesday afternoon.
While still active on Twitter, Sweeney joked about the situation, even tweeting to ask if he could have his $8 for verification back. 

While the account had been cited for safety concerns by users and Musk himself, it is unknown what led to the ban. Sweeny posted a screenshot on Mastadon indicating that he had been banned for spam or manipulative practices. Musk had not commented about the ban on Twitter as of Wednesday afternoon.


Name: Haley Davoren
, Digital Content Manager


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©2022, Haley Davoren. All rights reserved.

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