Good luck to you too!
I have found that when using APM for a normal airplane (no quadplane), MANUAL mode is best for initial flight testing and then use FBWA and LOITER, etc. For emergencies, changing back to MANUAL mode is a good bailout strategy.
When testing a QuadCopter, I now use QSTABILIZE as my bailout mode if something goes wrong during the flight. This is consistent with my other non-APM VTOLs (FireFLY6, V-Hawk, CL-84) in which HOVER mode is the bailout of choice.
If I had not switched to MANUAL mode when my Ranger EX stalled on the first FBWA test, then I would have landed much smoother. In summary, go over your bailout strategy before each flight.