(USA Today) -- Federal crash investigators are eager to interview the pilots and review the flight-data recorders that were recovered Saturday from the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco.
The cockpit voice recorder and the flight-data recorder were each recovered hours after the crash and flown to Washington, D.C., for examination by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Deborah Hersman, the board chairman who traveled to the accident scene, said the recorders will provide hundreds of pieces of information about the flight in the moments and hours before the crash.
"I am confident in the ability of our investigators to get to the bottom of this," Hersman said on NBC's Today show Sunday. "We need to take a look at it and see what it tells us."
Federal law-enforcement officials had initial conversations with the pilot, but the Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB still expect to speak with him within days, Hersman said.
"There are a lot of systems to help support the pilots as they come into airports, especially busy commercial airports like this one in San Francisco," Hersman told CNN's State of the Union.
"It's also about the pilots' recognition of the circumstances and what's going on, and so for them to be able to assess what's happening and make the right inputs to make sure they're in a safe situation," Hersman said. "That's what we expect from pilots. We want to understand what happened in this situation."
The tail of the Boeing 777 struck the end of the runway and fell off as it was landing. The plane struck the ground and spun around before coming to rest and burning. Two passengers died and 187 were injured; 307 passengers and crew were on board Flight 214.
"What you can't see is the damage internally, and that is really striking," Hersman told CNN after visiting the plane. "And so I think when we look at this accident, we're very thankful that we didn't have more fatalities and serious injuries and we had so many survivors."
The president of Asiana, Yoon Young-doo, said at a televised news conference that it will take time to determine the cause of the crash. But when asked about the possibility of engine or mechanical problems, he said he doesn't believe they could have been the cause.
Hersman said investigators needed to study the plane, the recorders and crew to learn what happened.
"We really prefer to base statements on facts, and we've got to review the flight data recorder, the cockpit voice recorder, and document the scene before we draw any conclusions," Hersman told ABC's This Week.
Contributing: The Associated Press