It is very evident in the video clip that he does NOT hit a nail for each end, and just above each slot. He may hit 5 nails, but nowhere near what you're talking about.
And yes, true the sheathing being properly nailed to the rafters, etc, will be critical too. Nailing everything to everything just seems... logical.
This news item I listened to was not your average 2-3 minute piece, this was the result of an in-depth investigation, with consultation by 'appropriately quailfied' experts; building engineers, roofing contractors, etc. Yes, it was on NPR. You don't get that kind of coverage from other places.
We had our roof done about 5 years ago; company came highly recommended. They were very specific that they hand-nailed.
If you watch the video he DOES hit both ends. He starts at the second nail location then goes across from right to left, then hits the end of the adjacent shingle with the last nail, putting 6 nails in each shingle. It says something to not only do it quickly, but also correctly. Also, shingles seal down even in cold winter so leaking is likely not going to occur unless the shingle seams are aligned at any point.
Very interesting video, but several years ago after a couple major hurricanes came to North Carolina, heard a radio story about how well houses were built, or not. One of the sub parts was roofing. Turns out lots of roofs that get done with air nailers, fully 1/3 of the nails don't go into rafters, just thru the roof decking. So a good blow comes along, those roofs tended to lose shingles, and then even get torn off. This, combined with all the other corner cutting by many contractors, means there are lots of systems in a house that are substandard against storms.
Also, back when Hurricane Andrew rolled across South Florida in 1992, the houses that stood up to the storm were often built by Habitat For Humanity volunteers, and houses that died sudden catastrophic deaths were the high-end houses. The difference? Volunteers were committed to doing a good job, because they believe in the program. The high end houses were built by contractors, who were pinching every penny. Habitat house, put the hurricane clips in, standard calls for what, 4 nails per ciip? Vollies might put in 5, or 6. Commercially built homes? Hurricane clips might get 2 nails, or even 1/2 the spec'd number of clips. Follow that math thru a 2 million dollar home, and a contractor can save a large amount of money.
I was actually plant manager for a ridge vent manufacturer and we did UL testing to prove our plastic ridge vents were fire rated, Dade County testing (in Dade county) with more water than a hurricane can produce and in-house wind speed testing at over 130 MPH. Shingles do not just rip off even with 3 nails in them, some of our tests were for this very thing. The '92 hurricane is what prompted a lot of the new building codes that incorporated a continuous "envelope" method of construction. That being said, Dade county (and Clark county in NV) are notorious for corrupt inspectors and code officials including bribery (new Harley's are a favorite there!) and nepotism so, the new codes aren't necessarily followed the way they should be if you know the right people *wink *wink...
I think we are now talking about two different processes. Nailing shingles is totally different than nailing sheathing.
I agree, I must have misunderstood your original post. Sorry about that. I fully agree that sheathing that is not properly nailed to the rafters or trusses is a failure waiting to happen. It compromises the entire roof structure.