Air Force officials confirm that an F-18 made an emergency landing Wednesday at Barksdale Air Force Base. Witnesses near the base reported seeing black smoke coming from the back of the jet as it landed. The fixed-wing aircraft's pilot notified air traffic controllers of an in-flight emergency and requested permission to land as a precaution. The plane landed safely just before 11 a.m., a base spokesman said. "We can confirm that an F-18 from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31 was diverted to Barksdale Air Force Base on Dec. 6 due to an aircraft system issue," said Deidre Patin, a public affairs specialist with the Naval Air Warfare Center's Weapons Division. (VX) 31 is a U.S. Navy squadron based in China Lake, Calif. Its aircraft include F/A-18A-Ds, AH-1Zs, F/A-18E/Fs, AH-1Ws, EA-18Gs, SH-60Fs, AV-8Bs, T-39Ds and UH-1Ys.